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BY THE SAME AUTHOR 

THE PASSIONATE ELOPEMENT 

CARNIVAL 

SINISTER STREET : VOLUME ONE 

SINISTER STREET: VOLUME TWO 

KENSINGTON RHYMES 






First published September 15, 1915 



GUY AND 
PAULINE 

By GOMPTON MACKENZIE * * 



LONDON: MARTIN SECKER 

NUMBER FIVE JOHN STREET ADELPHI MCMXV 



TO 

GENERAL 

SIR IAN HAMILTON 
G.C.B., D.S.O. 

AND THE GENERAL STAFF OF THE 
MEDITERRANEAN EXPEDITIONARY FORCE 




CONTENTS 

CHAP. 

I. AUTUMN 

September: October: November 9 

II. WINTER 

December : January : February 6 3 

III. SPRING 

March : April : May 1 09 

IV. SUMMER 

June : July : August 1 67 

V. ANOTHER AUTUMN 

September: October: November 219 

VI. ANOTHER WINTER 

December : January : February 271 

VII ANOTHER SPRING 

March: April: May 315 

VIII. ANOTHER SUMMER 

June: July: August 359 

IX. EPIGRAPH 

Guy : Pauline 391 



AUTUMN 



September 

THE slow train puffed away into the unadventurous 
country ; and the bees buzzing round the wine- 
dark dahlias along the platform were once again 
audible. The last farewell that Guy Hazlewood flung 
over his shoulder to a parting friend was more casual 
than it would have been, had he not at the same moment 
been turning to ask the solitary porter how many cases 
of books awaited his disposition. They were very heavy, it 
seemed ; and the porter, as he led the way toward the small 
and obscure purgatory through which every package for 
Shipcot must pass, declared he was surprized to hear these 
cases contained merely books. He would not go so far as to 
suggest that hitherto he had never faced the existence of 
books in such quantity, for the admission might have im- 
pugned official omniscience ; yet there was in his attitude 
just as much incredulity mingled with disdain of useless 
learning as would preserve his dignity without jeopardizing 
the financial compliment his services were owed. 

" Ah, well," he decided, as if he were trying to smooth 
over Guy's embarrassment at the sight of these large packing- 
cases in the parcel-office. " You'll want something as'll 
keep you busy this winter for you'll be the gentleman 
who've come to live down Wychford way ? " 

Guy nodded. 

" And Wychford is mortal dead in winter. Time walks 
very lame there, as they say. And all these books, I suppose, 
were better to come along of the bus to-night ? " 

Guy looked doubtful. It was seeming a pity to waste 
this afternoon without unpacking a single case. 



10 Guy and Pauline 

" The trap . . ." he began. 

But the porter interrupted hirri firmly : he did not think 
Mr. Godbold would relish the notion of one of these 
packing-cases in his new trap. 

" I could give you a hand . . ." Guy began again. 

The porter stiffened himself against the slight upon 
his strength. 

" It's not the heffort," he asserted. " Heffort is what I 
must look for every day of my life. It's Mr. Godbold' s 
trap." 

The discussion was given another turn by the entrance 
of Mr. Godbold himself. He was not at all concerned for 
his trap, and indeed by an asseverated indifference to its 
welfare he conveyed the impression that, new though it 
were, it was so much firewood, if the gentleman wanted 
firewood. No, the trap did not matter, but what about 
Mr. Hazlewood's knees ? 

" Ah, there you are," said the porter, and he and Mr. 
Godbold both stood dumb in the presence of the finally 
insuperable. 

" I suppose it must be the bus," said Guy. On such a 
sleepy afternoon he could argue no longer. The books 
must be unpacked to-morrow ; and the word lulled like 
an opiate the faint irritation of his disappointment. The 
porter's reiterated altruism was rewarded with a fee so 
absurdly in excess of anything he had done, that he began 
to speak of a possibility if after all the smallest case might 
not be squeezed . . . but Mr. Godbold flicked the pony, 
and the trap rattled up the station road at a pace quite 
out of accord with the warmth of the afternoon. Presently 
he turned to his fare : 

" Mrs. Godbold said to me only this morning, she said, 
* You ought to have had a luggage-flap behind and that I 
shall always say.' And she was right. Women is often 
right, what's more," the husband postulated. 



int 



Autumn 1 1 

Guy nodded absently : he was thinking about the books. 

" Very often right," Mr. Godbold murmured. 

Still Guy paid no attention. 

" Very often," he repeated, but as Guy would neither 
contradict nor agree with him, Mr. Godbold relapsed into 
meditation upon the ntstice of his observation. The pony 
had settled down to his wonted pace and jogged on through 
the golden haze of fine September weather. Soon the 
village of Shipcot was left behind, and before them lay 
the long road winding upward over the wold to Wychford. 
Guy thought of the friend who had left him that after- 
noon and wished that Michael Fane were still with him to 
enjoy this illimitable sweep of country. He had been the 
very person to share in the excitement of arranging a new 
house. Guy could not remember that he had ever made a 
suggestion for which he had not been asked ; nor could he 
call to mind a single occasion when his appreciation had 
failed. And now to-night, when for the first time he was 
going to sleep in his own house, his friend was gone. There 
had been no hint of departure during the six weeks of 
preparation they had spent together at the Stag Inn, and 
it was really perverse of Michael to rush back to London 
now. Guy jumped down from the trap, which was climbing 
the hill very slowly, and stretched his long legs. He was 
rather bored by his loneliness, but as soon as he had 
stated so much to himself, he was shocked at the disloyalty 
to his ambition. After all, he reassured himself, he was 
not going back to a dull inn-parlour : to-night he was going 
to sleep in an hermitage for the right to enjoy the seclusion 
of which he had been compelled to fight very hard. It was 
weak to imagine he was lonely already, and to fortify 
himself against this mood, he pulled out of his pocket his 
father's last letter and read it again while he walked up 
the hill behind the trap. 



12 Guy and Pauline 

Fox HALL, GALTON, HANTS. 

September 10. 
Dear Guy, 

I agree with some of what you say, but I disagree with 
a good deal more, and I am entirely opposed to your method of 
procedure, which is to put it very mildly rather casual. Tour 
degree was not so good as it ought to have been, but I did not 
reproach you, because in the Consular Service you had chosen 
a career which did not call specially for ajirst. At the same 
time you could, if 'you had worked, have got ajirst quite easily. 
Tour six months with the Macedonian Relief people seems to 
have knocked all your consular ambitions on the head rather 
too easily, I confess, to make me feel very happy about your 
future. And now without consulting me you take a house 
in the country for the purpose of writing poetry / Ton imply 
in answer to my remonstrances that I am unable to appreciate 
the ' necessity ' for your step. That may be, but I cannot help 
asking where you would be now if I at your age, instead of 
helping my father with his school, had gone off to Oxfordshire 
to write poetry. Perhaps I had ambitions to make a name for 
myself with the pen. If I had, I quenched them in order to 
devote myself to what I considered my duty. I do not reproach 
you for refusing to carry on the school at Fox Hall. Tour 
dear mother's last request was that I should not urge you to be 
a schoolmaster, unless you were drawn to the vocation. Her 
wishes I have respected, and I repeat that I am not hurt at 
your refusal. At the same time I cannot encourage what can 
only be described, as this whim of yours to bury yourself in a 
remote village where, having saddled yourself with the respon- 
sibilities of a house, you announce your intention of living by 
poetry ! I am the last person to underestimate the value of 
poetry, but as a livelihood it seems to me as little to be relied 
upon as the weather. However, you are of age. Tou have 
.150 a year of your own. Tou are with the exercise of the 
strictest economy independent. And this brings me to the 






Autumn 13 

point of your last letter in which you ask me to supplement 
your own income with an allowance 0/^150 a year from me. 
This inclination to depend upon your father is not what I 
conceive to be the artist's spirit of independence. This over- 
drawing upon your achievement Jills me with dismay for the 
future. However, since I do not wish you to begin hampered 
by debt and as you assure me that you have spent all your own 
money on this idiotic house, I will give you 150, to be paid 
in quarterly instalments of .37 los. as from the 21 st of this 
month for one year. Furthermore, at the end of next year if 
you Jind that poetry is less profitable than even you expect, I 
will offer you a place at Fox Hall, thereby securing for you 
the certainty of a life moderately free from financial worries. 
After all, even a schoolmaster has some spare time, and I dare- 
say our greatest poets did much of their best work in their 
spare time. The idea of writing poetry all day and every 
day appeals to me as enervating and ostentatious. 

Tour affectionate father, 

John Hazlewood. 

Guy stood still when he had finished the letter, and 
execrated mutely the damnable dependence that com- 
pelled him to accept gratefully and humbly this gift of 
150. Yet with no money of his own coming in till 
December, with actually a housekeeper on her way from 
Cardiff and his house already furnished, he must accept 
the offer. In a year's time he would have proved the 
reasonableness of his request ; and he began to compose 
a scene between them, in which his father would almost 
on bended knees beg him to accept an allowance of 300 
a year in consideration of the magnificent proof he had 
afforded to the world of being in the direct line of English 
poets. 

" And I mustn't forget to send him a sonnet on his 
birthday," said Guy to himself. 



14 Guy and Pauline 




This' notion restored his dignity, and he hurried on to 
overtake the trap which was waiting on the brow of the 
hill. 

" You were saying something about women being right," 
he reminded Mr. Godbold, as he sat down again beside 
him. " Has it ever struck you that fathers are nearly 
always wrong ? " , 

" That wouldn't do for me at all," said Mr. Godbold, 
shaking his head. " You see I'm the father of nine, and if I 
wasn't always right, sir, I shouldn't be no better than a bull 
in a china-shop where I live. I've got to be right, Mr. 
Hazlewood." 

" I suppose that's what the Pope felt," Guy mur- 
mured. 

" Now do you reckon this here Pope they speak of really 
exists in a manner of speaking ? " Mr. Godbold asked, as 
the trap bowled along the level stretch of upland road. 
" You know there's some of these narrow-minded mortals 
at Wychford as will have it that Mr. Grey, our parson, 
is in with the Pope, and I said to one or two of them the 
other night while we was arguing in the post-office, I said, 
4 Have any of you wise men of Gotham ever seen this 
Pope as you're so knowing about ? ' 

"And had they r " asked Guy encouragingly. 

" Not one of them," said Mr. Godbold. " And I thought 
to myself as I was walking up home, I thought now what if 
there wasn't no such thing as a Pope any more than there's 
women with fish-tails and all this rubbish you read of in 
books. If you ask my opinion of books, Mr. Hazlewood, 
I tell you that I think books is as bad for some people as 
wireworms is for carnations. They seem to regular eat 
into them." 

Guy laughed. Misgivings about the wisdom of his 
choice vanished, and he was being conscious of a very 
intimate pleasure in thus driving back to Wychford from 



Autumn 15 

the station. The country tossed for miles to right and left 
in great stretches of pasturage, and when Mr. Godbold 
pulled up for a moment to look at a trace, the air brilliantly 
dusted with autumnal gold seemed to endow him with the 
richness of its silence : along the sparse hedgerow chicory 
flowers burned with the pale intense blue of the September 
sky above, and Guy felt like them worshipful of the cloud- 
less scene. The road ran along the upland for half-a-mile 
before it dipped suddenly down into the valley of the 
Greenrush from which the spire of Wychford church came 
delicately up into the air, like a coil of smoke ascending 
from the opalescent corona that hung over the small town 
clustered against the farther hillside. Down in that valley 
close to the church was Flashers Mead ; and Guy watched 
eagerly for the first sight of his long low house. Already 
the sparkle of the more distant curves of the Greenrush 
was visible ; but Flashers Mead was still hidden by the 
slope of the bank. Presently this broke away to a ragged 
hedge, and the house displayed itself as much an integral 
part of the landscape as an. outcrop of stone. 

" Tasty little place," commented Mr. Godbold, while the 
trap jolted cautiously down the last twist of the hilly road. 
" But I reckon old Burrows was glad to let it. You're 
young though, and I daresay you won't mind being flooded 
out in winter. Two years ago Burrows's son's wife's 
nephew was floating paper boats in the front hall. But 
you're young, and I daresay you'll enjoy it." 

The pony swept round the corner and pulled up with a 
jerk at the wooden gateway in the grey wall overhung by 
lime-trees that concealed from the high road the moist 
fields and garden of Flashers Mead. 

" I'm sleeping here to-night, you know, for the first 
time," said Guy. He had tried all the way back not to 
make this announcement, but the sight of his own gateway 
destroyed his reserve. 



1 6 Guy and Pauline 

" Well, you'll have a fine night, that's one good job, 
Mr. Godbold predicted. 

" And the moon only just past the full," said Guy. 

" That's right," Mr. Godbold agreed ; and the tenant 
passed through the gateway into the garden where every 
path had its own melody of running water. He examined 
with proprietary solicitude the espaliers of apple-trees 
and admired for the twentieth time the pledge they offered 
by their fantastic forms of his garden's antiquity. He 
pinched several pippins that seemed ripe, but they were 
still hard ; and he could find nothing over which to exert 
his lordship, until he saw by the edge of the path a piece 
of groundsel. Having solemnly exterminated the weed, 
Guy felt that the garden must henceforth recognize him 
as master, and he walked on through a mass of dropsical 
cabbages and early kale until he came face to face with 
the house, the sudden view of which like this never failed 
to give him a peculiar pleasure. The tangled garden, 
long and narrow, was bounded on the right, as one entered, 
by the Greenrush, over which hung a thicket of yews that 
completely shut out the first straggling houses of Wychford. 
On the left the massed espaliers ended abruptly in a large 
water-meadow reaching to the foot of the hill along which 
the high road climbed in a slow diagonal. By the corner 
of the house the garden had narrowed to the apex of a 
thin triangle, so that the windows looked out over the 
water-meadow and, beyond, up the wide valley of the 
Greenrush to where the mighty western sky rested on 
rounded hills. At this apex the Greenrush flung a tributary 
stream to wash the back of the house and one side of the 
orchard, whence it wound in extravagant curves towards 
the easterly valley. The main branch, dammed up to form 
a deep and sluggish mill-stream, flowed straight on, dividing 
Guy's domain from the churchyard. At the end of the 
orchard on this side was a lock-gate through which a certain 






Autumn 1 7 

amount of water continuously escaped from the mill- 
stream, enough indeed to make the orchard an island, as it 
trickled in diamonded shallows to reinforce the idle tributary. 
Somewhere in the farther depths of the eastern valley all 
vagrant waters were united, and somewhere still more 
remote they came to a confluence with their father the 
Thames. 

Guy sat upon the parapet of the well under the shade of 
a sycamore tree and regarded with admiration and satis- 
faction the exterior of his house. He looked at the semi- 
circular porch of stone over the front-door and venerated 
the supporting cherubs who with puffed-out cheeks had 
blown defiance at wind and rain since the days of Elizabeth. 
He counted the nine windows, five above and four below, 
populating with the shapes of many friends the rooms they 
lightened. He looked at the steep roof of grey stone-tiles 
rich with the warm golden green of mossy patterns. He 
looked at the four pear-trees against the walls of the house 
barren now for many years. He looked at himself in sil- 
houette against the silver sky of the well-water ; and then 
he went indoors. 

The big stone-paved hall was very cool, and the sound of 
the stream at the back came babbling through lattices open 
to the light of a green world. Guy could not make up his 
mind whether the inside of the house smelt very dry or 
very damp, for there clung about it that odour peculiar 
to rustic age, which may be found equally in dry old barns 
and in damp potting-sheds. He wished he could furnish 
the hall worthily. At present it contained only a high- 
back chair, an alleged contemporary of Cromwell, which 
was doddering beside the hooded fireplace ; a warming- 
pan ; and an oak-chest which remained a chest only so long 
as nobody either sat upon it or lifted the lid. There was 
also a grandfather-clock which had suffered an abrupt 
resurrection of four minutes' duration when it was recently 



1 8 Guy and Pauline 

lifted out of the furniture-van, but had now relapsed 
into the silence of years. Leading out of the hall was a 
small empty room which had been dedicated to the posses- 
sion of his friend Michael Fane : together they had planned 
to paper it with gold and paint the ceiling black. Michael, 
however, had still another year at Oxford, and the room 
with an obelisk of lining-paper standing upright on the 
bare floor was now a little desolate. On the other side of 
the hall was the dining-room which Guy, by taxing his 
resources, had managed to furnish very successfully. It 
was a square room painted emerald-green above the white 
wainscot. Two inset cupboards were filled with glass and 
china : there were four Chippendale chairs and an oval 
Sheraton table, curtains of purple silk, some old English 
watercolours and two candlesticks of Sheffield plate. 
Beyond the dining-room was the kitchen, the corridor to 
which was endowed with a swinging baize-door considered 
by the landlord to be the finest feature of the house. The 
problem of equipping the kitchen had seemed insoluble 
until Guy heard of a sale in the neighbourhood. He had 
bicycled over to this and bought the contents of the large 
kitchen at auction. The result was that the dresser en- 
croached upon the table, that the table had one leg in the 
fender and that a row of graduated dish-covers, the largest of 
which would have sheltered two turkeys, occupied whatever 
space was left. All that remained of Guy's own money 
had been invested in his kitchen, and he accounted for the 
large size of everything by the fact of the auction's having 
been held in the open air, where everything had looked 
so much smaller. Now, as he contemplated dubiously 
the result, he wondered what Miss Peasey would say to it. 
She and the books would arrive together at half-past nine 
to-night. He hoped his unknown housekeeper would not 
be irritated by these dish-covers, and as a precautionary 
measure he unhooked the largest, carried it upstairs and 






Autumn 19 

deposited it on the floor of an unfurnished bedroom. The 
staircase ran steep and straight up from the hall into a 
long corridor with more casements opening on the orchard 
behind. The bedroom at one end was dedicated to the 
hope of Michael Fane's occupation and was always referred 
to in letters as his : i By the way I put the largest dish-cover 
in your bedroom? The next two bedrooms were also empty 
and belonged in spirit to the friends with whom Guy 
had lived during his last year at Oxford. The fourth was 
his own, very simply and sparsely furnished in comparison 
with the bedroom up in the roof which was intended for 
Miss Peasey. The preparation of that for an elderly un- 
married woman had involved a certain voluptuousness of 
rep and fumed oak and heavily decorated china, the fruit 
of the second-best bedroom in the house of the dish-covers. 
As Guy went up the crooked stairs and knocked his head 
on three successive beams, he hoped Miss Peasey would not 
be as disproportionately large as the kitchen dresser. Her 
handwriting had been spidery enough, and he pictured her 
hopefully as small and wizened. Miss Peasey's bower with 
the big dormer window surveying the tree-tops of the 
orchard was certainly a success, and Guy saw that Michael 
had with happy intuition of female aspiration hung on the 
wall opposite her bed a large steel-engraving of Dore's 
Martyrs, which had been included with two hammocks and 
a fishing-rod in one of the odd lots lightly bid for at the 
auction. There did not seem anything else she could want ; 
so, having killed a bluebottle with a tartan pincushion, he 
came downstairs. 

Guy had left his own room to the last, partly because he 
regretted so much the delay in the arrival of those books 
and partly because, however inadequately equipped was the 
rest of the house, this room was always the final justification 
of his tenancy. It was a larger room than any of the others, 
for the corridor did not cut off its share of the back. It 



20 Guy and Pauline 

possessed, in addition to the usual window looking out over 
the western side of the valley, a very large bay which hung 
right over the stream, with a view of the orchard, of the 
church-steeple, of the water-meadows beyond and of the 
wold rolling across the horizon. This morning Michael and 
he had pushed the furniture into place, had set in order the 
great wicker chairs and nailed against the wall the frames 
of green canvas. The floor was covered with a sweet- 
smelling mat of Abingdon rushes ; and the curtains of his 
old rooms in Balliol were hung in place, dim green curtains 
sown with golden fleurs-de-lys. The ivory image of an 
emaciated saint standing on the mantelshelf between candle- 
sticks of old wrought iron was probably a Spanish Virgin, 
but Guy preferred to say she was Saint Rose of Lima 
because ' O Rose of Lima ' seemed a wonderful apostrophe 
to begin a poem. Nothing indeed remained for the room's 
perfection but to fill the new bookshelves on either side of 
the fireplace. Why had he not hired a cart in Shipcot ? 
They would have been here by now, and he would actually 
have been able to begin work to-night, setting thus a noble 
period to these last six weeks of preparation. 

Guy dragged a chair into the bay window and, balancing 
his long legs on the sill, he made numerous calculations in 
which Miss Peasey's wages, the weekly bills for food, and 
the number of times he would have to go up to London 
were set against 150 a year. When he woke up, the lime- 
trees that bordered the high road had flung their shadows 
half-way across the meadow, and the air was a fume of 
golden gnats against the dipping sun. Within ten minutes 
the sun vanished, and the mists began to rise. Guy, feeling 
rather chilly and ashamed of himself for falling asleep, rose 
hurriedly and went up into the town. He interviewed the 
driver of the omnibus and told him to look out for his 
books, and as an afterthought he mentioned the arrival of 
Miss Peasey. He wished now he had written and told his 




Autumn 2 1 

housekeeper to spend the night in Oxford ; and he hoped 
she would not be prejudiced against Flashers Mead by a 
five-mile drive in a cold omnibus after her tiring journey 
from Cardiff. He dawdled about the steep village street 
for a while, gossiping with tradesmen at their doors and 
watching the warmth fade out of the grey houses in the 
falling dusk. Then he went to eat his last meal in the 
Stag Inn. 

After supper Guy returned to Flashers Mead, wandering 
round the house, dropping a great deal of candle-grease 
everywhere and working himself up into a state of anxiety 
over Miss Peasey's advent. It would be terrible if she 
demanded her fare back to Wales the moment she arrived ; 
and to propitiate her he put the best lamp in the kitchen, 
whence (as with such illumination it looked more than ever 
protuberant) he took another dish-cover up to Michael's 
bedroom. Since it was still but a few minutes after eight 
and the omnibus would not come for another hour and a 
half, he lit all the wax candles in his own room and wondered 
what to do. The tall shadows wavering in the draught were 
seeming cold and uncomfortable without a fire, so he rest- 
lessly threw back the curtains of the bay window to watch 
the rising of the moon. At that instant her rim appeared 
above the black hills, and presently a great moon of dis- 
lustred gold swam along the edge of the earth. Although 
she appeared to shed no light, the valley responded to her 
presence, and Guy was lured from his room to walk for 
a while in the dews. 

Out in the orchard a heavy mist wrapped him in wet 
folds of silver ; yet overhead there was clear starlight, and 
he could watch the slow burnishing of the moon's face in 
her voyage up the sky. It was a queer country in which he 
found himself, where all the tree-tops seemed to be floating 
away from invisible trunks, and where for a while no sound 
was audible but his own footsteps making a music almost 



22 Guy and Pauline 

of violins in the saturated grass. The moon wrought upon 
the vapours a shifting damascene ; and far behind, as it 
seemed, a rufous stain showed where the candles in his room 
were still alight. Gradually a variety of sounds began to 
play upon the silence. He could hear the dry squeak of a 
bat and cows munching in the meadows on the other side 
of the stream. The stream itself babbled and was still, 
babbled and was still ; while along the bank voles were 
taking the water with splashes that went up and down a 
scale like the deep notes of a dulcimer. Far off, an owl 
hooted, an otter barked ; and then as he crossed the middle 
of the orchard he was hearing nothing but apples fall with 
solemn thud, until the noise of the lock-gate swallowed all 
lighter sounds. Here the mist had temporarily dissolved, 
and in the moonlight he could see water gushing forth 
like an arch of lace and the long bramble-sprays combing 
the shallows below. Soon the orchard was left behind, and 
he was in the mist of a wide meadow, where all was 
silent again except for the faint sobbing of the grass to his 
footsteps. He walked straight into the moon's face, 
stumbling from time to time over molehills with an eery 
fragrance of fresh-turned soil, and wishing he could ever 
say in verse a little of the magic this autumnal night was 
shedding upon his fancy. 

" By gad, if I can't write here, I ought to be shot," he 
declared. 

The church-clock struck the half-hour as appositely as if 
his own father had said something about the need for 
hurrying up and showing what he could do. 

" Ah, but I'm not going to be hurried," said Guy aloud. 
And since the clock could not answer him again, it was as 
good as having the best of an argument. 

Guy walked on, and after a while could hear once more 
the purling of the stream. He thought there was something 
strangely human about this river in the way it wandered so 



>on 



Autumn 23 

careless of direction. When he had left these banks, they had 
been going away from him : now here they were coming 
back like himself toward the moon, so that presently he 
was able without changing his course to walk under their 
border of willows. The mist had drifted away from the 
stream, leaving the spires of loosestrife plainly visible and 
more dimly on the other side the forms of huge cattle at 
pasture. There was, too, a smell of meadowsweet softening 
with a summer languor the sharp September night. The 
willows gave way to overhanging thickets of hawthorn, as 
the river suddenly swept round to make a noose that was 
completed but a few yards ahead of where he was standing. 
He could not see on account of the bushes the size of the 
peninsula so formed, and when suddenly he heard from the 
depths a sound of laughter, so full was his brain of moon- 
shine that if he had come face to face with a legendary 
queen of fairies, he would hardly have been surprized. It 
was with the deliberate encouragement of a vision sur- 
passing all the fantasies of moon and mist that Guy stopped ; 
and indeed, on a sensuous impulse to pamper his imagina- 
tion with an unsolved mystery he had almost turned round 
to go back. Curiosity, however, was too strong ; for, 
as he paused irresolute, the fairy mirth tinkling again from 
the recesses of that bewitched enclosure died away upon 
the murmur of a conversation, and he could not leave any 
longer inviolate that screen of hawthorns. 

In the apogee of the river's noose two girls, clearly seen 
against the silver glooms beyond, were bending over a 
basket. Their heads were close together, and it was not 
until Guy was almost on top of them that he realized how 
impertinent his intrusion might seem. He drew back 
blushing, just as one of the girls became aware of his 
presence and jumped up with an ' oh ' that floated away 
from her as lightly as a moth upon the moonshine. Her 
sister (Guy decided at once they were sisters) jumped up 



24 Guy and Pauline 

also and luckily for him, since it offered the opportunity o: 
a natural apology, overturned the basket. For a moment 
the three of them gazed at one another over the mushrooms 
that were tumbled upon the grass to be an elfin city of 
the East, so white and cold were their cupolas under the 
moon. 

" Can't I help to pick them up ? " Guy asked, wondering 
to himself why on this night of nights that was the real 
beginning of Flashers Mead he should be blessed by this 
fortunate encounter. The two girls were wearing big white 
coats of some rough tweed or frieze on which the mist lay 
like gossamer ; and, as neither of them had a hat, Guy 
could see that one was very dark and the other fair. 

" We wondered who you were," said the dark one. 

" I live at Flashers Mead," said Guy. 

" I know, I've seen you often," she answered. 

" And Father says every day * My dears, I really must 
call upon that young man.' ' 

It was the fair one who spoke, and Guy recognized that 
it was her laughter he had first heard. 

" My other sister is somewhere close by," said the dark 
one. 

Guy was kneeling down to gather up the mushrooms, 
and he looked round to see another white figure coming 
toward them. 

" Oh, Margaret, do let's introduce him to Monica. It 
will be such fun," cried the fair sister. 

Guy saw that Margaret was shaking her head, but never- 
theless when the third sister came near enough she did 
introduce him. Monica was more like Margaret, but much 
fairer than the first fair sister ; and with her reserve and 
her pale gold hair she seemed, as she greeted him, to be 
indeed a wraith of the moon. 

" Shall I carry the mushrooms back for you ? " Guy 
offered. 




Autumn 25 

" Oh, no thanks," said Monica quickly. " The Rectory- 
is quite out of your way." 

He felt the implication of an eldest sister's disapproval, 
and not wishing to spoil the omens of romance, he left the 
three sisters by the banks of the Greenrush and was soon on 
his way home through the webs of mist. 

How extraordinary that he and Michael should have 
spent six weeks at Wychford without realizing that the 
Rector had three such daughters. Godbold had gossiped 
about him only this afternoon, reporting that he was held 
by some of his parishioners to be in with the Pope : they 
might more justly suspect him of being in with Titania. 
Monica, Margaret ... he had not heard the name of the 
third. Monica had seemed a little frigid, but Margaret 
and . . . really when the omnibus arrived he must find 
out the name of the Rector's third daughter, of that one so 
obviously the youngest with her light brown hair and her 
laugh of which even now, as he paused, he fancied he could 
still hear the melodious echo. Monica, Margaret and . . . 
Rose perhaps, for there had been something of a dewy 
eglantine about her. Surely that was indeed the echo of 
their voices ; but, as upon distance the wayward sound 
eluded him, the belfry-clock with whirr and buzz and groan 
made preparation to strike the hour. Nine strokes boomed, 
leaving behind them a stillness absolute. The poet thought 
of time before him, of the three sisters by the river, of fame 
to come, and of his own fortune in finding Flashers Mead. 
Four months ago he had been in Macedonia, full of pro- 
consular romance, and now he was in England with a much 
keener sense of every moment's potentiality than he had 
ever known in the dreams of oriental dominion. This 
sublunary adventure indicated how great a richness of 
pastoral life lay behind the slumber of a forgotten town*; 
and it was seeming more than ever a pity Michael had not 
waited until to-night, so that he also might have met Monica 



26 G/ <27/</ Pauline 



kft. 



and Margaret and that smallest innominate sister with 
light brown hair. Guy could not help arranging with him- 
self for his friend to fall in love with one of them ; and since 
he at once allotted Monica to Michael, he knew that he 
himself preferred one of the others. But which ? Oh, it 
was ridiculous to ask such questions after seeing three girls 
for three minutes of moonlight. Perhaps it really had been 
sorcery and in the morning, when he met them in Wychford 
High Street, they would appear dull and ordinary. They 
could not be so beautiful as he thought they were, he 
decided, since if they were he must have heard of their 
beauty. Nevertheless it was in a mood of almost elated self- 
congratulation that Guy found himself hurrying through 
the orchard toward the candlelight of his room. 

The arrival of Miss Peasey, now that it was upon him, 
banished everything else ; and instead of dreaming de- 
liciously of that encounter in the water-meadows, he stood 
meditating on the failure of the kitchen. As he regarded 
the enormous dresser ; the table trampling upon the fender ; 
the seven dish-covers mocking his poor crockery, Guy had 
little hope that Miss Peasey would stay a week : and then 
suddenly, worse than any failure of equipment, he remem- 
bered that she might be hungry. He looked at his watch. 
A quarter-past nine. Of course she would be hungry. She 
probably had eaten nothing but a banana since breakfast in 
Cardiff. Guy rushed out and surprized the landlord of the 
Stag by begging him to send the hostler down at once with 
cold beef and stout and cheese. 

" There's the bus," he cried. " Don't forget. At once. 
My new housekeeper. Long journey. And salad. Forgot 
she'd be hungry. Salt and mustard. I've got plates." 

The omnibus went rumbling past, and Guy followed at 
a jog-trot down the street, saw it cross the bridge and, 
making a spurt, caught it up just as a woman alighted by 
the gate of Plashers Mead. 



Autumn 27 

" Ah, Miss Peasey," said Guy breathlessly. " I went up 
the street to see if the bus was coming. Have you had a 
comfortable journey ? " 

" Mr. Hazlewood ? " asked the new housekeeper blinking 
at him. 

The guard of the omnibus at this moment informed Guy 
that he had some cases for Flashers Mead. 

" Where is Mr. Hazlewood then ? " asked Miss Peasey 
turning sharply. 

Over her shoulder Guy saw that the guard was apparently' 
punching the side of his head, and he said more loudly : 

" I'm Mr. Hazlewood." 

" I thought you were. I'm a little bit deaf after travelling, 
so you'll kindly speak slightly above the usual, Mr. Hazle- 
wood." 

" I hope you've had a comfortable journey," Guy 
shouted. 

" Oh, yes, I think I shall," she said with what Guy 
fancied was meant to be an encouraging smile. " I hope 
you haven't lost any of my parcels, young man," she con- 
tinued with a severe glance at the guard. 

" Four and a stringbag. Is that right, mum ? " he 
bellowed. " She's as deaf as an adder, Mr. Hazlewood," 
he explained confidentially. " We had a regular time 
getting of her into the bus before we found out she couldn't 
hear what was being said to her. Oh, very obstinate she 
was." 

" This is the garden," Guy shouted, as they passed in 
through the gate. 

" Yes, I daresay," Miss Peasey replied ambiguously. 

Guy wondered how she would ever be got upstairs to her 
room. 

" This is the hall," he shouted. " Rather unfurnished 
I'm afraid." 

" Oh, yes, I'm quite used to the country," said Miss Peasey. 




28 Guy and Pauline 

Guy was now in a state of nervous indecision. Just as he 
was going to shout to Miss Peasey that the kitchen was 
through the baize-door, the hostler from the Stag came up 
to know whether mutton would do instead of beef, and 
just as he said pork would be better than nothing, the guard 
arrived with Miss Peasey's tin box and wanted to know 
where he should put it. The hall seemed to be thronged 
with people. 

" You'd like your boxes upstairs, wouldn't you ? " he 
shouted to the housekeeper. 

" Oh, do you want to come upstairs ? " she said cheerfully. 

" No, your boxes. The kitchen's in here." 

He really hustled her into the kitchen and, having got 
her at last in a well-lighted room, he begged her to sit down 
and expect her supper. By this time two men who had 
been summoned by the driver of the omnibus to bring in 
Guy's books, were staggering and sweating into the hall. 
However, the confusion relaxed in time ; and before the 
clock struck ten Guy was alone with Miss Peasey and without 
an audience was managing to make her understand most 
of what he was saying. 

" I'll come down in about half an hour," he told her, 
" and show you your room." 

" It's a long way," said Miss Peasey, when the moment 
was arrived to conduct her up the winding staircase to her 
bower in the roof. Guy had calculated that she would miss 
all the beams, and so from a desire to make the best of the 
staircase he had not mentioned them. He sighed with 
relief when she passed into her bedroom, unbumped. 

" Oh, quite nice," she pronounced looking round her. 

" In the morning, we'll talk over everything," said Guy, 
and with a hurried good-night he rushed away. 

In the hall he attacked with a chisel the first packing-case. 
One by one familiar volumes winked at him with their gold 
lettering in the candlelight. He chose Keats to take up- 






Autumn 29 

stairs and, having read St. Agnes' Eve, stood by the window 
of his bedroom, poring upon the moonlit valley. 

In bed his mind skipped the stress of Miss Peasey's arrival 
and fled back to the meadows where he had been walking. 

" Monica, Margaret . . ." he began dreamily. It was 
a pity he had forgotten to find out the name of that sister 
who was so like a wild rose. Never mind : he would find 
out to-morrow. And for the second time that day the word 
lulled him like an opiate. 



October 

IT was a blowy afternoon early in October, and Pauline 
was sitting by the window of what at Wychford 
Rectory was still called the nursery. The persistence 
of the old name might almost be taken as symbolic of the 
way in which time had glided by that house unrecognized, 
for here were Monica, Margaret and Pauline grown up 
before anyone had thought of changing its name even to 
schoolroom. And with the old name it had preserved the 
character childhood had lent it. There was not a chair 
that did not appear now like the veteran survivor of childish 
wars and misappropriations, nor any table nor cupboard 
that did not testify to an affectionate ill-treatment pro- 
longed over many years. On the walls the paper which had 
once been vivid in its expression of primitive gaiety was now 
faded : but the pattern of berries, birds and daisies still 
displayed that eternally unexplored tangle as freshly as once 
it was displayed for childish fancies of adventure. Pauline 
had always loved the window-seat, and from here she had 
always seen before anyone else at the Rectory the first flash 
of Spring's azure eyes, the first greying of Winter's locks. 
So, now on this afternoon she could see the bullying South- 
west wind thunderous against whatever laggards of Summer 
still tried to shelter themselves in the Rectory garden. 
Occasionally a few raindrops seemed to effect a frantic 
escape from the fierce assault and cling desperately to the 
window-panes, but since nobody could call it a really wet 
day Pauline had been protesting all the afternoon against 
her sisters' unwillingness to go out. Staying indoors was 
such a surrender to the season. 

30 



Autumn 31 

" We ought to practise that Mendelssohn trio," Monica 
argued. 

" I hate Mendelssohn," Pauline retorted. 

" Well, I shall practise the piano part." 

" Oh, Monica, it will sound so dreadfully empty," cried 
Pauline. " Won't it, Margaret ? " 

" I'm reading Mansfield Park. Don't talk," Margaret 
murmured. " If I could write like Jane Austen," she went 
on dreamily, " I should be the happiest person in the world." 

" Oh, but you are the happiest person already," said 
Pauline. " At least you ought to be, if you'd only . . ." 

>c You know I hate you to talk about him," Margaret 
interrupted. 

Pauline was silent. It was always a little alarming when 
Margaret was angry. With Monica one took for granted 
the disapproval of a fastidious nature, and it was fun to 
teaze her ; but Margaret with her sudden alternations of 
hardness and sympathy, of being great fun and frightfully 
intolerant, it was always wiser to propitiate. So Pauline 
stayed in the window-seat, pondering mournfully the lawn 
mottled with leaves, and the lily-pond that was being seamed 
and crinkled by every gust of the wind that skated across 
the surface. The very high grey wall against which the 
Japanese quinces spread their peacock-tails of foliage was 
shutting her out from the world to-day, and Pauline wished 
it were Summer again so that she could hurry through the 
little door in the wall and across the paddock to the banks 
of the Greenrush. In the Rectory punt she would not have 
had to bother with sisters who would not come out for a 
walk when they were invited. 

The tall trees on either side of the lawn roared in the 
wind and showered more leaves upon the angry air. What 
a long time it was to Summer, and for no reason that she 
could have given herself Pauline began to think about the 
man who had taken Plashers Mead. Of course it was obvious 




32 Guy and Pauline 

he would fall in love either with Monica or with Margaret, 
and really it must be managed somehow that he should 
chose Monica. Everybody fell in love with Margaret, which 
was so hard on poor Richard out in India who was much 
the nicest person in the world and whom Margaret must 
never give up. Pauline looked at her sister and felt afraid 
the new tenant of Flashers Mead would fall in love with her, 
for Margaret was so very adorable with her slim hands and 
her sombre hair. 

" Really almost more like a lily than a girl," thought 
Pauline. Somehow the comparison reassured her, since it 
was impossible to think of anyone's rushing to gather a lily 
without a great deal of hesitation. 

" I wish poor Richard would write and tell her she is like 
a lily, instead of always writing such a lot about the bridge 
he is building, though I expect it's a very wonderful bridge." 

After all, Monica with her glinting evanescence was just 
as beautiful as Margaret, and even more mysterious ; and 
if she only would not be so frightening to young men, who 
would not fall in love with her ! Pauline wondered vaguely 
if she could not persuade Margaret to go away for a month, 
30 that the new tenant of Plashers Mead might have had 
time to fall irremediably in love with Monica before she 
came back. Richard would certainly be dreadfully worried 
out in India when he heard of a young man at Plashers Mead, 
and certainly rather . . . yes, certainly in church on Sunday 
he had appeared rather charming. It was only last Spring 
that poor Richard had wished he could be living in Plashers 
Mead himself, and they had had several long discussions 
which never shed any light upon the problem of how such 
an ambition would be gratified. 

" I expect Monica will be like ice, and Margaret will seem 
so much easier to talk to, and if I dared to suggest that 
Monica should unbend a little, she would freeze me as well. 
Oh, it's all very difficult," sighed Pauline to herself, " and 



Autumn 33 

perhaps I'd better not try to influence things. Only if he 
does seem to like Margaret much better than Monica, I 
shall have to bring poor Richard into the conversation, 
which always makes Margaret cross for days." 

As she came to this resolution, Pauline looked half appre- 
hensively at her sister reading in the tumbledown arm- 
chair by the fire. How angry Margaret would be if she 
guessed what was being plotted, and Pauline actually 
jumped when she suddenly declared that Mansfield Park 
was almost the best book Jane Austen ever wrote. 

" Is it, darling Margaret ? " said Pauline with a disarming 
willingness to be told again that it certainly was. 

" Or perhaps Emma," Margaret murmured, and Pauline 
hid herself behind the curtains. How droll Father had 
been about the * new young creature ' at Plashers Mead. 
It had been so difficult to persuade him to interrupt one 
precious afternoon of planting bulbs to do his duty either 
as a neighbour or as Rector of the parish. And when he 
came back all he would say of the visit was : 

" Very pleasant, my dears, oh, yes, he showed me every- 
thing, and he really has a most remarkable collection of 
dish-covers, quite remarkable. But I ought not to have 
deserted those irises that Garstin sent me from the Taurus. 
Now perhaps we shall manage that obstinate little plum- 
coloured brute which likes the outskirts of a pine-forest, so 
they tell me." 

Just as Pauline was laughing to herself at the memory 
of her father's visit, the Rector himself appeared on the 
lawn. He was in his shirt-sleeves : his knees were muddy 
with kneeling : and Birdwood the gardener, all blown 
about by the wind, was close behind him, carrying an 
armful of roots. 

Pauline threw up the window with a crash and called out : 

" Father, Father, what a darling you look, and your hair 
will be swept right away, if you aren't careful." 



34 Guy and Pauline 

The Rector waved his trowel remotely, and Pauline bl< 
him kisses, until she was made aware of protests in the roc 
behind her. 

"Really," exclaimed Monica. "You are so noisy. 
You're almost vulgar." 

" Oh, no, Monica," cried Pauline dancing round the 
room. " Not vulgar. Not a horrid little vulgar 
person ! " 

" And what a noise you do make," Margaret joined in. 
" Please, Pauline, shut the window." 

At this moment Mrs. Grey opened the door and loosed a 
whirlwind of papers upon the nursery. 

" Who's vulgar ? Who's vulgar ? " asked Mrs. Grey 
laughing absurdly. " Why, what a tremendous draught ! " 

" Mother, shut the door, the door," expostulated 
Margaret and Monica simultaneously. " And do tell 
Pauline to control herself sometimes." 

" Pauline, control yourself," said Mrs. Grey. 

When the papers were settling down, Janet the maid 
came in to say there was a gentleman in the drawing-room, 
and in the confusion of the new whirlwind her entrance 
raised, Janet was gone before anyone knew who the gentle- 
man was. 

" Ugh," Margaret grumbled. " I never can be allowed 
to read in peace." 

" I was practising the Mendelssohn trio, Mother," said 
Monica reproachfully. 

" Let us all practise. Let us all practise," Mrs. Grey 
proposed, beaming enthusiastically upon her daughters. 
" That would be charming." 

" Father is so sweet," said Pauline. " He's simply 
covered with mud." 

" Has he got his kneeler ? " asked Mrs. Grey. 

Pauline rushed to the window again. 

" Mother says ' have you got your kneeler ' ? " 



Autumn 35 

The Rector paused vaguely, and Birdwood tried to 
indicate by kicking himself that he had the kneeler. 

" Ah, thoughtful Birdwood," said Mrs. Grey in a satis- 
fied voice. 

" And now do you think we might have the window 
shut ? " asked Margaret resignedly. 

Monica was quite deliberately thumping at the piano 
part she was practising. Mrs. Grey sat down and began to 
tell a long story in which three poor people of Wychford 
got curiously blended somehow into one, so that Pauline, 
who was the only daughter that ever listened, became very 
sympathetic over a fourth poor person who had nothing to 
do with the tale. 

" And surely Janet came in to say something about the 
drawing-room," said Mrs. Grey as she finished. 

" She said a gentleman," Pauline declared. 

" Oh, how vague you all are," exclaimed Margaret, 
jumping up. 

" Well, Margaret, you were here," Pauline said. " And 
so was Monica." 

" But I was practising," said Monica primly. " And I 
didn't hear a word Janet said." 

There was always this preliminary confusion at the 
Rectory when a stranger was announced, and it always 
ended in the same way by Mrs. Grey and Monica going 
down first, by Pauline rushing after them and banging the 
door as they were greeting the visitor, and by Margaret 
strolling in when the stage of comparative ease had been 
attained. So it fell out on this occasion, for Monica's skirt 
was just disappearing round the drawing-room door when 
Pauline, horrified at the idea of having to come in by her- 
self, cleared the last three stairs of the billowy flight with a 
leap and sent Monica spinning forward as the door pro- 
pelled her into the room. 

" Monica, I am so sorry." 



36 Guy and Pauline 

" Pauline ! Pauline ! " said Mrs. Grey reprovingly. 
" So like an avalanche always." 

Guy, who had by now been waiting nearly a quarter 
an hour, came forward a little shyly. 

" How d'ye do, how d'ye do," said Mrs. Grey quickly 
and nervously. " We're so delighted to see you. So good 
of you . . . charming really. Pauline is always impetuous. 
You've come to study farming at Wychford haven't you ? 
Most interesting. Don't tug at me, Pauline. Monica, 
do ring for tea. Are you fond of music ? " 

Pauline withdrew from the conversation after the 
whispered attempt to correct her mother about Mr. Hazle- 
wood's having taken Plashers Mead in order to be a farmer. 
She wanted to contemplate the visitor without being made 
to involve herself in the confusions of politeness. ' Was he 
dangerous to Richard ? ' she asked herself, and alas, she 
had to tell herself that indeed it seemed probable he might 
be. Of course he was inevitably on the way to falling in 
love with Margaret, and as she looked at him with his clear- 
cut pale face, his tumbled hair and large brown eyes which 
changed what seemed at first a slightly cynical personality 
to one that was almost a little wistful, Pauline began to 
speculate if Margaret might not herself be rather attracted 
to him. This was an unforeseen complication, for Mar- 
garet so far had only accepted homage. Pauline definitely 
began to be jealous for Richard whose homage had been the 
most prodigal of any ; and as Guy drawled on about his first 
adventure of house-keeping she told herself he was affected. 
The impression, too, of listening to someone more than 
usually self-possessed and cynical revived in her mind ; and 
those maliciously drooping lids were obliterating the effect 
of the brown eyes. Sitting by herself in the oriel-window 
Pauline was nearly sure she did not like him. He had no 
business to be at the Rectory when Richard was building 
a bridge out in India ; and now here was Margaret strolling 



Autumn 37 

graciously in and almost at once obviously knowing so well 
how to get on with this idler. Oh, positively she disliked 
him. So cold and so cruel was that mouth, and so vain he 
was, as he sat there bending forward over hand-clasped, 
long, stupid, crossed legs. What right had he to laugh 
with Margaret about their father's visit ? This stranger 
had assuredly never appreciated him. He was come here 
to spoil the happiness of Wychford, to destroy the im- 
memorial perfection of life at the Rectory. And why 
would he keep looking up at herself ? Margaret could be 
pleasant to anybody, but this intruder would soon find that 
she herself was loyal to the absent. Pauline wished that, 
when he met them all on that night of the moon, she had been 
so horridly rude as to make him avoid the family for ever. 
How could Margaret sit there talking so unconcernedly, 
when Richard might be dying of sunstroke at this ^very 
moment ? Margaret was heartless, and this stranger with 
his drawl and his undergraduate affectation would encourage 
her to sneer at everything. 

" What's the matter, Pauline dearest ? " her mother 
turned round to ask. 

" Nothing," answered Pauline, biting her lips to keep 
back surely the most unreasonable tears she had ever felt 
were springing. 

' e You're not cross with me for calling you a landslide ? " 
persisted Mrs. Grey, smiling at her from the midst of a glory 
momentarily shed by a stormy ray of sunshine. 

" Oh, mother," said Pauline, now fairly in the midway 
between laughter and tears. " It was an avalanche you 
called me." 

" Why do you always sit near a window ? " asked Monica. 

" She always rushes into a corner," said Margaret. 

Pauline jumped up from her chair and would have 
run out of the room forthwith ; but in passing the first 
table she knocked from it a silver bowl of pot-pourri and 



:nelt 



38 Guy and Pauline 

scattered the contents over the carpet. Down she kne 
to hide her confusion and repair the damage, and at the 
same moment Guy plunged down beside her to help. 
She caught his eyes so tenderly humorous that she too 
laughed. 

" I think it must be my fault/' he said. " Don't you 
remember how, last time we met, your sister upset the 
mushrooms ? " 

Pauline knew she was blushing, and when the rose- 
leaves were all gathered up, tea came in. Her attention 
was now entirely occupied by preventing her mother from 
doing the most ridiculous things with cakes and sugar and 
milk, and when tea was over, Guy got up to go. 

There was a brief discussion after his departure, in which 
Margaret was so critical of his dress and of his absurdities that 
Pauline was reassured, and presently indeed found herself 
taking their visitor's part against her sisters. 

" Quite right, quite right, Pauline," said Mrs. Grey. 
" He's charming . . . charming . . . charming ! Mar- 
garet and Monica so critical. Always so critical." 

Presently the family hurried out into the drive to protest 
against the Rector's planting any more bulbs, to tell him 
how unkind he had been not to come in to tea, and to warn 
him that the bell would sound for Evensong in two minutes. 
He was dragged out of the shrubbery where he had been 
superintending a clearance of aucubas, preparatory to plant- 
ing a drift of new and very deep yellow primroses. 

" Really, my dears, I have never seen Primula Vulgaris so 
fine in texture or colour. My friend Gilmour has spent ten 
years working up the stock. As large as florins." 

So he boasted of new wonders next Spring in the Rectory 
garden, while his wife and daughters brushed him and 
dusted him and helped to button up his cassock. 

" Doesn't Father look a darling ? " demanded Pauline, 
as they watched the tall handsome dreamer striding along 



Autumn 39 

the drive towards the sound of the bell, that was clanging 
loud and soft in its battle with the wind. 

" Oh, Pauline, run after him," said Mrs. Grey, " and 
remind him it's the Eighteenth Sunday after Trinity. He 
started wrong last Sunday, and to-day's Wednesday, and it 
so offends some of the congregation." 

Pauline overtook her father in the church-porch, and he 
promised he would be careful to read the right collect. 
She had not stayed to get a hat and therefore must wait for 
him outside. 

" Very well, my dear child, I shan't be long. Do go and 
see if those Sternbergias I planted against the south porch 
are in flower. Dear me, they should be, you know, after this 
not altogether intolerably overcast summer. Sun, though, 
sun ! they want sun, poor dears ! " 

" But, Father, I can't remember what Sternbergias look 
like." 

" Oh, yes, you can," said the Rector. " Sternbergia 
Lutea. Amaryllidaceae. A perfectly ordinary creature." 
And he vanished in the gloom of the priest's door. 

As Pauline came round the corner the wind was full in 
her face, and under the rose-edged wrack of driving clouds 
the churchyard looked desolate and savage. There were no 
flowers to be seen but beaten down Michaelmas daisies and 
bedabbled phlox. The bell had stopped immediately when 
the Rector arrived ; and the wind seemed now much louder 
as it went howling round the great church or rasping 
through the yews and junipers. The churchyard was 
bounded on the northerly side by the mill-stream, along 
which ran a wide path between a double row of willows now 
hissing and whistling as they were whipped by the blasts. 
Pauline walked slowly down this unquiet ambulatory, gazing 
curiously over to the other bank of the stream where the 
orchard of Plashers Mead was strewn with red apples. 
There in the corner by the house that was just visible stood 



40 Guy and Pauline 



sthe 



the owner playing with a dog, a bobtail too, which was 
kind Pauline liked best. She wanted very much to wave, 
but of course it was impossible for the Rector's daughter to 
do anything like that in the churchyard. Yet if he did 
chance to walk in her direction, she would, whatever 
happened, shout to him across the stream to bring the dog 
next time he came to the Rectory. Pauline walked four 
times up and down the path, but first the dog disappeared 
and then the owner followed him, and presently Pauline 
discovered that the path beside the abandoned stream was 
very dreary. The crooked tombstones stood up starkly : 
the wind sighed across the green graves of the unknown : 
the fiery roses were fallen from the clouds. Pauline turned 
away from the path and went to take shelter behind the 
East end of the church. From here, as she fronted the in- 
vading night, she could see the grey wall of the Rectory 
garden and the paddock sloping down to the river. How 
sad it was to think of the months that must pass before that 
small meadow would be speckled with fritillaries or with 
irises blow white and purple. The wind shrieked with a 
sudden gust that seemed more violent, because where she 
was standing not a blade of grass twitched. Pauline looked 
up to reassure herself that the steeple was not toppling from 
the tower ; as she did so, a gargoyle grinned down at her. 
The grotesque was frightening in the dusk, and she hurried 
round to the priest's door. The Rector came out as she 
reached it, and accepted vaguely the information that there 
were no flowers to be seen but Michaelmas daisies and phlox. 

"Ah, I told Birdwood to confiscate those abominable 
dahlias which wretched Mrs. Godbold will plant every 
year. I gave her some of that new saxifrage I raised. What 
more does the woman want ? " 

Pauline hung upon his arm, while they walked back to 
the Rectory through the darkling plantation. 

" Isn't it a perfect place ? " she murmured, hugging his 



Autumn 41 

arm closer when they came to the end of the mossy path 
and saw the twinkling of the drawing-room's oriel on the 
narrow south side, and the eleven steep gables that cleft 
the now scarcely luminous sky, one after another all the 
length of the house. 

" I doubt if anything but this confounded cotoneaster 
would do well against this wall," replied the Rector. 

He never failed to make this observation when he reached 
his front-door ; and his family knew that one day the 
cotoneaster would be torn down for a succession of camellias 
to struggle with the east winds of unkind Oxfordshire. In 
the hall Mrs. Grey and Margaret were bending over a table. 

" Guy has left his card," said Margaret. 

" Is that the man who came to see me about the rats ? " 
asked the Rector. 

" No, no, Francis," said Mrs. Grey. " Guy is the young 
man at Flashers Mead." 

" Isn't Francis sweet ? " cried Pauline, reaching up to 
kiss him. 

" Hush, Pauline. Pauline, you must not call your father 
Francis in the hall," said Mrs. Grey. 

" How touching of Guy to leave a card," Pauline mur- 
mured, looking at the oblong of pasteboard shimmering 
in the gloom. 

" Now we've just time to practise the Mendelssohn trio 
before dinner," declared Mrs. Grey. " And that will make 
you warm." 

The Rector wandered off to his library. Margaret and 
Pauline went with their mother up shadowy staircases and 
through shadowy corridors to the great music-room that 
ran half the length of the roof. Monica was already seated 
at the piano, all white and golden herself in the candlelight. 
Languidly Margaret unpacked her violoncello : Pauline 
tuned her violin. Soon the house was full of music, and the 
wind in the night was scarcely audible. 



November 

WHEN Guy left the Rectory that October after- 
noon, he felt as if he had put back upon its 
shelf a book the inside of which, thus briefly 
glanced at, held for him, whenever he should be privileged 
to open it again, a new, indeed an almost magical repre- 
sentation of life. On his fancy the Greys had impressed 
themselves with a kind of abundant naturalness ; but 
however deeply he tried to think he was already plunged 
into the heart of their life, he realized that it was only in 
such a way as he might have dipped into the heart of a 
book. The intimacy revealed was not revealed by any 
inclusion of himself within the charm ; and he was a little 
sad to think how completely he must have seemed outside 
the picture. Hence his first aspiration with regard to the 
family was somehow to become no longer a spectator, but 
actually a happy player in their representation of existence. 
Ordinarily, so far as experience had hitherto carried him, it 
had been easy enough to find himself on terms of intimacy 
with any group of human beings whose company was 
sufficiently attractive. For him, perhaps, it had even been 
particularly easy, so that he had never known the mortifica- 
tion of a repulse. No doubt now by contriving to be him- 
self and relying upon the interest that was sure to be roused 
by his isolation and poetic ambitions, he would very soon 
be accorded the freedom of the Rectory. Yet such a 
prospect, however pleasant to contemplate, did not satisfy 
him, and he was already troubled by a faint jealousy of the 
many unknown friends of the Greys to whom in the past 
the privilege of that freedom must have been frequently 



Autumn 43 

accorded. Guy wanted more than that : in the excess of 
his appreciation he wanted them to marvel at a time when 
they had not been aware of his existence : in fact he was 
anxious to make himself necessary to their own sense of 
their own completeness. As he entered his solitary hall, 
he was depressed by the extravagance of such a desire, 
saying to himself that he might as well sigh to become an 
integral figure of a pastoral by Giorgione, or of any work 
of art the life of which seems but momentarily stilled for 
the pleasure of whomsoever is observing it. 

Guy was for a while almost impatient even of his own 
room, for he felt it was lacking in any atmosphere except 
the false charm of novelty. He had been here three weeks 
now, he and deaf Miss Peasey ; and were the two of them 
swept away to-morrow, Flashers Mead would adapt itself 
to newcomers. There was nothing wrong with the house : 
such breeding would survive any occupation it might be 
called upon to tolerate. On the other hand were chance 
to sweep the Greys from Wychford, so essentially did the 
Rectory seem their creation that already it was unimaginable 
to Guy apart from them. And as yet he had only dipped 
into the volume. Who could say what exquisite and 
intimate paragraphs did not await a more leisurely perusal ? 
Really, thought Guy, he might almost suppose himself in 
love with the family, so much did the vision of them in that 
shadowy drawing-room haunt his memory. Indeed they 
were become a picture that positively ached in his mind 
with longing for the moment of its repetition. For some 
days he spent all his time in the orchard, throwing sticks 
for his new bobtail ; denying himself with an absurd self- 
consciousness the pleasure of walking so far along the mill- 
stream even as the bank opposite to the Rectory paddock ; 
denying himself a fortuitous meeting with any of the family 
in Wychford High Street ; and on Sunday denying himself 
the pleasure of seeing them in church, because he felt it 






44 Guy and Pauline 

might appear an excuse to be noticed. The vision of the 
Rectory obsessed him, but so elusively that when in verse 
he tried to state the emotion merely for his own satisfaction 
he failed, and he took refuge from his disappointment by 
nearly always being late for meals. Often he would see Miss 
Peasey walking about the orchard with desolate tinkle of a 
Swiss sheep-bell, the only instrument of summons that the 
house possessed. Miss Peasey herself looked not unlike a 
battered old bell-wether, as she wandered searching for him 
in the wind ; and Guy used to watch her from behind a 
tree-trunk, laughing to himself until Bob the dog trotted 
from one to another, describing anxious circles round their 
separation. 

" Your dinner's been waiting ten minutes, Mr. Hazle- 
wood ! " 

" Doesn't matter," Guy would shout. 

" Mutton to-day," Miss Peasey would say, and, " a little 
variety," she always added. 

Miss Peasey's religion was variety, and her tragedy was 
an invention that never kept pace with aspiration. For 
three weeks Guy had been given on Sunday roast beef 
which lasted till Wednesday ; while on Thursday he was 
given roast mutton, which as a depressing cold bone always 
went out from the dining-room on Saturday night. Every 
morning he was asked what he would like for dinner, to 
which he always replied that he left it to her. Once indeed 
in a fertile moment he had suggested a curry, and Miss 
Peasey, brightening wonderfully, had chirped : 

" Ah, yes, a little variety." 

But in the evening the taste of hot tin that represented 
Miss Peasey's curry made him for ever afterward leave the 
variety to her own fancy, thereby preserving henceforth 
that immutable alternation of roast beef and roast mutton 
which was the horizon of her house-keeping. A 

These solitary meals were lightened by the thought of 



Autumn 45 

the Rectory. Neither beef nor mutton seemed of much 
importance, when his mind's eye could hold that shadowy 
drawing-room. There was Monica with her pale gold hair 
in the stormy sunlight, cold and shy, but of such a marble 
purity of line that but to sit beside her was to admire a 
statue whose coldness made her the more admirable. There 
was Margaret, carved slimly out of ivory, very tall with 
weight of dusky hair, and slow fastidious voice that spoke 
dreamily of the things Guy loved best. There was Pauline 
sitting away from the others in the window seat, away in 
her shyness and wildness. Was not the magic of her almost 
more difficult to recapture than any \ A briar rose she was 
whose petals seemed to fall at the touch of definition, a 
briar rose that was waving out of reach, even of thought. 
Guy wished he could visualize the Rector in his own 
drawing-room ; but instead he had to set him in Flashers 
Mead, of which no doubt he had thought the owner a 
young ass ; and Guy blushed to remember the nervous 
idiocy which had let him take the Rector solemnly into the 
kitchen to look at dish-covers in a row, and deaf Miss 
Peasey sitting by as much fire as the table would yield to 
her chair. But if the Rector were missing from the picture, 
at any rate he could picture Mrs. Grey, shy like her daugh- 
ters and with a delicious vagueness all her own. She was 
most like Pauline, and indeed in Pauline Guy could see her 
mother, as the young moon holds in her lap the wraith of 
the old moon. . . . 

" Why, you haven't eaten anything," remonstrated Miss 
Peasey, breaking in upon his vision. " And I've made you 
a rice pudding for a little variety." 

The shadowy drawing-room faded with the old chintz 
curtains and fragile almost immaterial silver ; the china 
bowls of Lowestoft ; the dull white panelling and faintly 
aromatic sweetness. Instead remained a rice pudding that 
smelt and looked as solid as a pie. 



46 Guy and Pauline 



I 

atly en- 

n. 



However, that very afternoon Guy was greatly 
couraged to get an invitation to dinner at the Rectory 
from the hands of the gardener. Birdwood was one of 
those servants who seem to have accepted with the obliga- 
tions of service the extreme responsibilities of paternity ; 
and Guy hastened to take advantage of the chance to 
establish himself on good terms with one who might prove 
a most powerful ally. 

" Not much of a garden, Pm afraid," he said depre- 
catingly to Birdwood, as they stood in colloquy outside. 
The gardener shook his head. 

" It wouldn't do for the Rector to see them cabbages and 
winter greens. ' I won't have the nasty things in my 
garden,' he says to me, and he'll rush at them regular 
ferocious with a fork. * I won't have them,' he says. ' I 
can't abear the sight of them,' he says. Well, of course I 
knows better than go for to contradict him when he gets a 
downer on any plant, don't matter whether it's cabbage or 
calceolaria. But last time, when he'd done with his 
massacring of them, I popped round to Mrs. Grey, and I 
says, winking at her very hard, but of course not meaning 
any disrespectfulness, winking at her very hard, I says, 
' Please, mum, I want one of these new allotments from the 
glebe.' ' Good Heavings, Birdwood,' she says, ' whatever 
on earth can you want with for an allotment ? ' With 
that I winks very hard again and says in a low voice right 
into her ear as you might say, * To keep the wolf from the 
door, mum, with a few winter greens.' That's the way we 
grow our vegetables for the Rectory, out of an allotment, 
though we have got five acres of garden. Now you see 
what comes of being a connosher. You take my advice, 
Mr. Hazlenut, and clear all them cabbages out of sight 
before the Rector comes round here again." 

" I will certainly," Guy promised. " But you know it's 
a bit difficult for me to spend much money on flowers." 



Autumn 47 

" We don't spend money over at the Rectory," said 
Birdwood, smiling in a superior way. 

" No ? " 

" We don't spend a penny. We has every mortal plant 
and seed and cutting given to us. And not only that, but 
we gives in our turn. Look here, Mr. Hazlenut, I'm going 
to hand you out a bit of advice. The first time as you go 
round our garden with the Rector, when you turn into the 
second wall-garden, and see a border on your right, you 
catch hold of his arm and say, * Why, good Heavings, if 
that isn't a new berberis." 

" Yes, but I don't know what an old berberis looks like," 
said Guy hopelessly. " Let alone a new one." 

" Never mind what the old ones look like. It's the new 
I'm telling you of. Don't you understand that everyone 
who comes down, from Kew even, says, * That's a nice 
healthy little lot of Berberis Knightii as you've got a hold of.' 
' Ha,' says the Rector. ' I thought as you'd go for to say 
that. But it ain't Knightii,' he chuckles, ' and what's 
more it ain't got a name yet, only a number, being a 
new importation from China,' he says. You go and call 
out what I told you, and he'll be so pleased, why, I 
wouldn't say he won't shovel half of the garden into your 
hands straight off." 

" Do the young ladies take an interest in flowers ? " Guy 
asked. 

" Of course they try," said Birdwood condescendingly. 
" But neither them nor their mother don't seem to learn 
nothing. They think more of a good clump of delly- 
phiniums than half-a-dozen meconopises as someone's gone 
mad to discover, with a lot of murderous Lammers from 
Tibbet ready to knife him the moment his back's turned." 

" Really ? " 

" Oh, I was like that myself once. I can remember the 
time when I was as fond of a good dahlia as anything. Now 



48 Guy and Pauline 






I goes sniffing the ground to see if there's any Mentha 
Requieni left over from the frost." 

" Sniffing the ground ? " 

" That's right. It's so small that if it wasn't for the 
smell anyone wouldn't see it. That's worth growing that is. 
Only, if you'll understand me, it takes anyone who's used to 
looking at peonies and suchlike a few years to find out the 
object of a plant that isn't any bigger than a pimple on an 
elephant." 

Guy was reluctant to let Birdwood go without bringing 
him to talk more directly of the family and less of the 
flowers. At the same time he felt it would be wiser not to 
rouse in the gardener any suspicion of how much he was 
interested in the Rectory : he was inclined to think he 
might resent it, and he wanted him as a friend. 

" Who is working in your garden ? " asked Birdwood, as 
he turned to go. 

"Well, nobody just at present," said Guy apolo- 
getically. 

" All right," Birdwood announced. " I'll get hold of 
someone for you in less than half a pig's whisper." 

" But not all the time," Guy explained quickly. He was 
worried by the prospect of a gardener's wages coming out 
of his small income. 

" Once a week he'll come in," said Birdwood. 

Guy nodded. 

" What's his name ? " 

" Graves he's called, but being deaf and dumb, his 
name's not of much account." 

" Deaf and dumb ? " repeated Guy. " But how shall I 
explain what I want done ? " 

" I'll show you," said Birdwood. " I'll come round and 
put you in the way of managing him. Work ? I reckon 
that boy would work any other mortal in Wychford to the 
bone. Work ? Well, he can't hear nothing, and he can't 



Autumn 49 

say nothing, so what else can he do ? And he does it. Good 
afternoon, Mr. Hazlenut." 

And Birdwood retired, whistling very shrilly as he went 
down the path to the gate. 

Two nights later, Guy with lighted lantern in his hand 
set out to the Rectory. He did not venture to go by the 
orchard and the fields and so, crossing the narrow bridge 
over the stream, enter by way of the garden. Such an 
approach seemed too familiar for the present stage of his 
friendship, and he took the more formal route through an 
alley of mediaeval cottages that branched off Wychford 
High Street. Mysterious lattices blinked at him, and 
presently he felt the wind coming fresh in his face as he 
skirted the churchyard. The road continued past the back 
of a long row of almshouses, and when he saw the pillared 
gate of the Rectory drive, over which high trees were 
moaning darkly, Guy wondered if he were going to a large 
dinner-party. No word had been said of any one else's 
coming, but with Mrs. Grey's vagueness that portended 
nothing. He hoped that he would be the only guest and, 
swinging his lantern with a pleased expectancy, he passed 
down the drive. Suddenly a figure materialized from the 
illumination he was casting and hailed him with a question- 
ing ' hulloa ' ? 

" Hulloa," Guy responded. 

" Oh, beg your pardon," exclaimed the other. " I 
thought it was Willsher." 

" My name's Hazlewood," said Guy a little stiffly. 

" Mine's Brydone. We may as well hop in together.' 

Guy rather resented the implication of this birdlike 
intrusion in company with the doctor's son, a lanky youth 
whom he had often noticed slouching about Wychford in 
a cap ostensibly alive with artificial flies. Apparently 
Willsher must also be expected, against whom Guy had 
already conceived a violent prejudice dating from the time 



50 Guy and Pauline 

he called at his father's office to sign the agreement for the 
tenancy of Flashers Mead. It was of ill augury that the 
Greys sheuld apparently be supposing that he would make 
a trio with Brydone and Willsher. 

" Brought a lantern, eh ? " said Brydone. 

" Yes, this is a lantern," Guy answered coldly. 

" You'll never see me with a lantern," Brydone declared. 

Guy would like to have retorted that he hoped he would 
never even see Brydone without one. But he contented 
himself by saying with all that Balliol could bring to his aid 
of crushing indifference, 

" Oh, really ? " 

Somebody behind them was tunning down the drive and 
shouting * Hoo-oo ' in what Guy considered a very objection- 
able voice. It probably was Willsher. 

" Hullo, Charlie," said Brydone. 

" HuUo, Percy," said Willsher, for it was he. 

" Know this gentleman ? Mr. Hazlewood ? " 

" Only officially. Pleased to meet you," said the new- 
comer. 

" Not at all," answered Guy. He felt furious to think 
that the Greys would suppose he had arranged to arrive 
with these two fellows. 

" Done any fishing yet ? " asked Brydone. 

" No, not yet," said Guy. 

" Well, your bit of river has been spoilt. Old Burrows 
let everyone go there. But when you want some good 
fishing, Willsher and I rent about a mile of stream farther 
up and we'll always be glad to give you a day. Eh, Charlie ?" 

Charlie replied with much cordiality that Percy had 
taken the very words of invitation out of his mouth ; and 
Guy, unable any longer to be frigid, said that he had some 
books at which they might possibly care to come and look 
one afternoon. Mr. Brydone and Mr. Willsher both 
declared they would be delighted, and the latter added in 



Autumn 5 1 

the friendliest way that he knew an old woman in Wych- 
ford who was very anxious to sell a Milton warranted to be 
a hundred years old at least. Was that anything in Mr. 
Hazlewood's way ? Guy explained that a Milton of so 
recent a date was not likely to be much in his way, and 
Mr. Brydone remarked that no doubt if it had been a 
Stilton, it would have been another matter. His friend 
laughed very heartily indeed at this joke, and in an atmo- 
sphere of almost hilarious good fellowship, that was to Guy 
still a little mortifying, they rang the Rectory bell. 

None of the family had reached the drawing-room when 
they were shown in, and Guy was afraid they were rather 
early. 

" Always like this," said Brydone. " Absolutely no 
notion of time. Shouldn't be surprized if we had to wait 
another quarter of an hour. Known them for years, and 
they've always been like this. Eh, Charlie ? " 

The solicitor's son shook his head gravely. He seemed to 
feel that as a man of business he should display a slight 
disapproval of such a casual family. 

" Ever since I was a kid I can remember it," he said. 

Guy tried to tell himself that all this talk of intimacy was 
merely due to the accidental associations of country life 
over many years. But it was with something very like 
apprehension that he waited for the Greys to come down. 
It would be dreadful to find that Brydone and Willsher had 
a status in the Rectory. When, however, their hosts 
appeared, Guy realized with a tremendous relief that 
Brydone and Willsher obviously existed outside his picture 
of the Rectory. To be sure, they were Charlie and Percy to 
Monica, Margaret and Pauline ; but galling as this was, 
Guy told himself that after a lifelong acquaintance nothing 
else could be expected. 

It pleased Guy really that the dinner was not a great 
success, for he was able to fancy that the Greys were 



52 Guy and Pauline 






encumbered by the presence of Brydone and Willsher. Monica 
was silent ; Margaret was deliberately talking about things 
that could not possibly interest either of the young men ; 
and Pauline was trying to save the situation by wild 
enthusiasms which were continually being repressed by 
her sisters. Mrs. Grey alternated between helping to check 
Pauline and behaving in exactly the same way herself. As 
for the Rector, he sat silent with a twinkle in his eye. Guy 
wished regretfully, when the time came to depart, that he 
could have stayed another few minutes to mark his superi- 
ority to the other guests ; but alas, he was still far from that 
position, and no doubt he would never attain to it. 

" Oh, have you brought a lantern ? " asked Pauline 
excitedly in the hall. " Oh, I wish I could walk back with 
you. I love lantern-light." 

" Pauline ! Pauline ! Do think what you're saying," 
Mrs. Grey protested. 

" I like lantern-light too," Margaret proclaimed. 

" When you come to see us again," said Pauline, " will 
you bring your dog ? " 

" Oh, I say, shall I ? " asked Guy flushing with pleasure. 

" Such a lamb, Margaret," said Pauline, kissing her 
sister impulsively and being straightly reproved for doing so. 

The good-nights were all said, and Guy walked up the 
drive with Brydone and Willsher. 

" Queer family, aren't they ? " commented the doctor's 
son. 

" Extraordinarily charming," said Guy. 

"I've known them all my life," said Willsher a little 
querulously. " And yet I never seem to know them any 
better." 

Guy was so much elated by this admission that he 
repeated more warmly his invitation to come and see him 
and his books, and parted from the two friends very 
pleasantly. 



Autumn 53 

Two or three days later Guy thought he might fairly 
make his dinner call, and with much forethought did not 
take Bob with him, so that soon there might be an excuse 
to come again to effect that introduction. Mrs. Grey and 
Monica were out ; and Guy was invited to have tea in the 
nursery with Margaret and Pauline. He was conscious that 
an honour had been paid to him, partly by intuition, 
partly because neither of the girls said a conventional word 
about not going into the drawing-room. He felt, as he sat 
in that room fragrant with the memories of what must have 
been an idyllic childhood, the thrill that, as a child, he 
used to feel when he read : ' The Queen was in her parlour 
eating bread and honey.' This was such another parlour 
infinitely secluded from the world ; and he thought he had 
never experienced a more breathless minute of anticipation 
than when he followed the girls along the corridor to their 
nursery. The matting worn silky with age- seemed so 
eternally unprofaned, and on the wall outside the door the 
cuckoo calling five o'clock was like a confident bird in some 
paradise where neither time nor humanity was of much 
importance. Janet, the elderly parlourmaid, came stumping 
in behind them with the nursery tea-things ; and, as Guy 
sat by the small hob-grate and saw the moist autumnal sun 
etherealize with wan gold the tattered volumes of childhood, 
the very plumcake on the tea-table was endowed with the 
romantic perfection of a cake in a picture-book. When the 
sun dipped behind the elms, Guy half expected that 
Margaret and Pauline would vanish too, so exactly seemed 
they the figures that, were this room a mirage, he would 
expect to find within as guardians of the rare seclusion. Guy 
never could say what was talked about, that afternoon ; for 
when he found himself outside once again in the air of earth, 
he was bemused with the whole experience, as if suddenly 
released from enchantment. Out of a multitude of im- 
pressions, which had seemed at the time most delicately 




54 Guy and Pauline 

strange and potent, only a few incidents quite common- 
place haunted his memory tangibly enough to be seized and 
cherished. Tea-cups floating on laughter against that wall- 
paper of berries, birds and daisies ; a pair of sugar-tongs 
clicking to the pressure of long white fingers (so much could 
he recapture of Margaret) ; crumpets in a rosy mist (so much 
was Pauline) ; a copper kettle singing ; the lisp of the wind ; 
a disarray of tambour-frames and music, these were all that 
kept him company on his way back to Flashers Mead 
through the colourless twilight. 

Chance favoured Guy next day by throwing him into 
the arms of the Rector, who asked if he were fond enough 
of flowers to look round the garden at a dull season of the 
year. Guy was so much elated that, if love of flowers meant 
more frequent opportunities of going to the Rectory, he 
would have given up poetry to become a professional 
gardener. Of course there was nothing to see, according 
to the Rector a few Nerines of his own crossing in the 
greenhouse ; a Buddleia Auriculata honeycomb-scented in 
the angle of two walls ; the double Michaelmas daisy, an 
ugly brute already condemned to extermination ; a white 
Red Hot Poker, evidently a favourite of the Rector's by the 
way he gazed upon it and said so casually Kniphofia Multi- 
flora, as if it were not indeed a treasure blooming in Oxford- 
shire's dreary Autumn. 

" Tulips to go in next week," said the Rector, rolling the 
prospect upon his tongue with meditative enjoyment. " A 
friend of mine has just sent me some nice fellows from 
Bokhara and Turkestan. I ought to get them in this week, 
but Birdwood must finish with these roses. And I've got a 
lot of Clusiana too that ought to be in. I am going to try 
her in competition with shrubbery roots and see if they II 
make her behave herself." 

" Could I come in and help ? " offered Guy. 

" Well, now that would certainly be most kind," said 



Autumn 55 

the Rector ; and his thin handsome face lit up with the 
excitement of infecting Guy with his own passion. " But 
aren't you busy ? " 

" Oh, no. I usually work at night." 
So Guy came to plant tulips and from planting tulips to 
being asked to lunch was not far, and from finishing off a 
few left over to being asked to tea was not far either. More- 
over when the tulips were all planted, there were gladioli to 
be sorted and put away. Incidentally too the punt had to 
be caulked and the boathouse had to be strengthened, so 
that in the end it was half way into November before Guy 
realized he had been coming to the Rectory almost every 
day. The more he came, however, the more he was fas- 
cinated by the family. They still eluded him, and he was 
always aware, particularly between Margaret and Pauline, 
of a life in which as yet he hardly shared. At the same 
time, so familiar now were the inner places of the 
house and most of all the nursery, he felt as if happily 
there would come a day when to none of the sisters 
would he seem more noticeable than one of their tumble- 
down armchairs. 

Once or twice he stayed to dinner, and the long dining- 
room with the sea-grey wall-paper and curtains of the 
strawberry- thief design was always entered with a particular 
contentment of spirit. The table was very large, for some- 
body always forgot to take out the extra leaf put in for a 
dinner sometime last summer, or perhaps two summers 
ago. The result was that the Rector was far away in the 
shadows at one end; Mrs. Grey equally remote at the other ; 
while Guy would in turn be near to Margaret or Pauline 
or even Monica in the middle. Old fashioned glasses with 
spirals of green and white blown in their stems ; silver that 
was nearly diaphanous with use and age ; candlesticks solid 
as the Ionic columns they counterfeited, or tapering and 
fluted with branches that carried the candle-flames like 



56 Guy and Pauline 

flowers, everything seemed as if it had been created for this 
room alone. From the wall a lacquered clock as round and 
big and benign as the setting sun wavered in the coppery 
shadows of the fire, and with scarcely the sound of a tick 
showed forth time. Guy had never appreciated the sacred- 
ness of eating in good company until he dined casually like 
this at the Rectory. He never knew what he ate and always 
accepted what was put before him like manna ; yet he was 
always conscious of having enjoyed the meal, and next morn- 
ing he used to face, unabashed, Miss Peasey's tale of ruined 
tapioca which had waited for him too long. 

The seal of perfection was generally set on these un- 
expected dinners by chamber-music afterward, when under 
the arched roof of the big music-room for an hour or more 
of trios and quartets Guy contemplated that family. The 
Greys could not have revealed the design of their life with 
anything but chamber-music, and setting aside any ex- 
pression of inward things, thought Guy, how would it be 
possible to imagine them more externally decorative than 
seated so at this formal industry of art ? He liked best 
perhaps the trios, when he and Mrs. Grey, each in a Caroline 
chair with tall wicker back, remained outside, and yet withal 
as much in the picture as two donors painted by an old 
Florentine. Monica in a white dress sat straight and stiff 
with pale gold hair that seemed the very colour of the re- 
fined, the almost rarefied accompaniment upon which her 
fingers quivered and rippled. Something of her own cold- 
ness and remoteness and crystalline seventy she brought to 
her instrument, as if upon a windless day a fountain played 
forth its pattern. Margaret's amber dress deepened from 
the shade of Monica's hair, and Margaret's eyes glowed deep 
and solemn as the solemn depths of the violoncello over 
which she hung with a thought of motherhood in the way 
she cherished it. Was it she, wondered Guy, who was 
the ultimate lure of this house, or was it Pauline ? Of her, 



Autumn 57 

as she swayed to the violin, nothing could be said but that 
from a rose-bloomed radiance issued a sound of music. 
And how clearly in the united effect of the three sisters was 
written the beauty of their lives. Guy could almost see 
every hour of their girlhood passing in orderly pattern, as 
the divine Hours dance along a Grecian frieze. There was 
neither passion nor sentiment in the music : there was 
neither sorrow nor regret. It was heartless in its limpid 
beauty ; it was remote as a cloud against the sunrise ; cold 
as water was it, and incommunicable as a dream ; yet in 
solitude when Guy reconjured the sound afterward, it 
returned to his memory like fire. 

A great occasion for Guy was the afternoon when first 
the Greys came to tea with him at Flashers Mead. Himself 
went into Wychford and bought the cakes, so many that 
Miss Peasey held up her hands with that ridiculously con- 
ventional gesture of surprize she used, exclaiming : 

" Oh, dear, this is a variety ! " 

Guy led them solemnly round the house and furnished 
the empty rooms with such vivid descriptions that their 
emptiness was scarcely any longer perceptible. In his own 
room he waited anxiously for judgment. Margaret was of 
course the first to declare an opinion. She did not like 
his curtains nor his green canvas, and she was by no means 
willing to accept his excuse that they were relics of under- 
graduate taste. 

" If you don't like them now, why do you have them ? 
Why not plain white for the walls and no curtains at all, 
until you can get ones you really do like ? " 

Pauline was afraid his feelings would be hurt and declared 
with such transparent dishonesty how greatly she loved 
everything in the room that Guy, grateful though he was 
to her intended sweetness, was more discouraged than 
ever. Monica objected to his having Our Lady on the 
mantelshelf, and would not admit her as Saint Rose of 



58 Guy and Pauline 






Lima ; but Guy was enough in awe of Monica not to 
justify the identification with Saint Rose by his desire for 
a poetic apostrophe. As for Mrs. Grey, she behaved as she 
always did when Monica and Margaret were being critical, 
that is by firing off c charmings ! ' in a sort of benevolent 
musketry ; but if Guy was not convinced by her * charm- 
ings ! ' he could not resist her when she said : 

" I think Guy's room is charming . . . charming ! " 
He felt his room could be an absolute failure if from the 
ashes of its reputation he were alluded to actually for the 
first time as ' Guy.' Gone then was Mr. Hazlewood : fled 
were those odious c misses.' He turned to Pauline and said 
momentously, boldly : 

" I say, Pauline, you haven't seen my new kitten." 
She blushed, and Guy stood breathless with the attain- 
ment of the first peak. Then triumphantly he turned to 
Mrs. Grey : 

" Monica and Margaret are very severe, aren't they ? " 
How easy it was after all, and he wished he had addressed 
them directly by their Christian names instead of taking 
refuge in a timid reference. Now all that was wanting for 
his pleasure was that Monica, Margaret or Pauline should 
call him Guy. He wondered which would be the first. 
And vaguely he asked himself which he wanted to be 
the first. 

Pauline was talking to Margaret in the bay-window. 
" Do you remember," she was saying, " when Richard 
came to look at Plashers Mead and we pretended he was 
going to take it ? " 

Margaret frowned at her for answer ; but for Guy the 
afternoon so lately perfected was spoilt again ; and when 
they were gone, all the evening he glowered at phantom 
Richards who, whether Adonises or Calibans, were all equally 
obnoxious and more than obnoxious, positively minatory. 
Next day he felt he had no heart to make an excuse 



Autumn 59 

to visit the Rectory ; and he was drearily eating some 
of the cakes of the tea-party, when Mr. Brydone and 
Mr. Willsher paid him their first call. Guy did not think 
they would appreciate the empty rooms, however eloquently 
he narrated their future glories ; so he led his visitors 
forthwith to the cakes, listening to the talk' of trout 
and jack. After a while he asked with an elaborate 
indifference if either of them had lately been round to 
the Rectory. 

" Too clever for me," said Brydone shaking his head. 
" Besides, Pauline kicked up a fuss a fortnight ago because 
we asked if we could have the otter-meet in their 
paddock." 

" They were never sporting, those Rectory kids," said 
Willsher gloomily. 

" Never," his friend agreed, shaking his head. " Do you 
remember when Margaret egged on young Richard Ford 
to punch your head because your old terrier chivied the 
Greys' cat round the churchyard ? " 

" I punched his head, I remember," said Willsher in 
wrathful reminiscence. 

" Does Richard Ford live here ? " Guy asked. 

" His father's the Vicar of Little Fairfield, the next 
parish, you know. Richard's gone to India. He's an 
engineer, awfully nice chap and head over heels in love 
with the fair Margaret. I believe there's a sort of 
engagement." 

In that moment by the lightening of his heart Guy knew 
that he was in love with Pauline. 

Outside, the November night hung humid and oppressive. 

" I thought we should get it soon," said Willsher, and as 
the two friends vanished in the mazy garden, Guy looking 
up felt rain falling softly yet with gathering intensity. He 
stood for a while in his doorway, held by the whispering 
blackness. Then suddenly in a rapture of realization he 



60 Guy and Pauline 



slammed the door and, singing at the top of his voice, 
marched about the hall. Once upon a time ' to-morrow ? 
had been wont to drowse him : now the word sounded 
upon his imagination like a golden trumpet. 






WINTER 



December 

THE rain which began the day after the Greys' 
visit to Flashers Mead went on almost without a 
break for a whole week. December with what it 
could bring of deadness, gloom and moisture came drearily 
down on Wychford, and Pauline as she sat high in her 
window-seat lamented the interminable soak. 

" I can't think why Guy hasn't been near the Rectory 
lately," she grumbled. 

" I expect he's tired of us," said Margaret. 

" You don't really think so," Pauline contradicted. 
:< You're much much much too conceited to think so 
really." 

Margaret laughed. 

:< You don't mind a bit when I call you conceited," 
Pauline went on, challenging her sister. " I believe you're 
so conceited that you're proud even of being conceited. 
Why doesn't Guy come and see us, I wonder." 

" Why should he come ? " Monica asked rather severely. 
" Perhaps he's doing some work for a change." 

" I believe he's hurt," Pauline declared. 

" Hurt ? " repeated her sisters. 

;< Yes, because you were both so frightfully critical of his 
room. Oh, I am glad that Mother and I aren't critical." 

" Well, if he's hurt because I said he oughtn't to have an 
image of Our Lady on his mantelshelf," said Monica, " I 
really don't think we need bother any more about him. 
Was I to encourage him in such stupid little Gothic 
affectations ? " 

" Oh, oh," cried Pauline. " I think he's frightened of 

63 



64 Guy and Pauline 

you, Monica dear, and of your long sentences, for Pm sure 
I am." 

" He wasn't at all frightened of me," Monica asserted. 
" Didn't you hear him call me Monica ? " 

" And surely," Margaret put in, " you didn't really 
like those stupid mock mediaeval curtains. No design, just 
a lot of meaningless fleurs-de-lys looking like spots. It's 
because I think Guy has got a glimmering of taste that I 
gave him my honest opinion. Otherwise I shouldn't have 
bothered." 

" No, I didn't like the curtains," Pauline admitted. 
" But I thought they were rather touching. And, oh, my 
dears, I can't tell you how touching I think the whole 
house is, with that poor woman squeezing her way about 
that enormous kitchen-furniture ! " 

Pauline looked out of the window as she spoke, and there 
at last was Guy standing on the lawn with her father, who 
was explaining something about a root which he held in his 
hand. On the two of them the rain poured steadily down. 
Pauline threw up the sash and called out that they were to 
come in at once. 

" I am glad he's . . . why what's the matter, Mar- 
garet ? " she asked, as she saw her sister looking at her with 
an expression of rather emphatic surprize. 

" Really," commented Margaret. " I shouldn't have 
thought it was necessary to soothe his ruffled feelings by 
giving him the idea that you've been watching at the 
window all the week for his visit." 

" Oh, Margaret, you are unkind," and, since words 
would all too soon have melted into tears, Pauline rushed 
from the nursery away to her own white fastness at the 
top of the house. She did not pause in her headlong 
flight to greet her mother in the passage ; nor even 
when she entangled herself in Janet's apron could she say 
a word. 



Winter 65 

" Good gracious, Miss Pauline," gasped Janet. " And 
only just now the cat went and run between my legs in the 
hall." 

Pauline's bedroom was immediately over the nursery ; 
but so roundabout was the construction of the Rectory 
that, to reach the one from the other, all sorts of corridors 
and twisting stairways had to be passed ; and when finally 
she flung herself down in her small armchair she was breath- 
less. Soon, however, the tranquillity of the room restored 
her. The faded blue linen so cool to her cheeks quieted all 
the passionate indignation. On the wall Saint Ursula 
asleep in her bed seemed inconsistent with a proud rage ; 
nor did Tobit laughing in the angel's company encourage 
her to sulk. Therefore almost before Guy had taken off 
his wet overcoat, Pauline had rushed downstairs again ; had 
kissed Margaret ; and had put three stitches in the tail of 
the scarlet bird that occupied her tambour-frame. Cer- 
tainly when he came into the drawing-room she was as 
serene as her two sisters, and much more serene than Mrs. 
Grey, who had just discovered that she had carefully made 
the tea without a spoonful in the pot, besides mislaying a 
bottle of embrocation she had spent the afternoon in 
finding for an old parishioner's rheumatism. 

Pauline, however, soon began to worry herself again 
because Guy was surely avoiding her most deliberately, 
and not merely avoiding her but paying a great deal of 
attention to Margaret. Of course she was glad for him to 
like Margaret, but Richard out in India must be considered. 
She could not forget that promise she had made to Richard 
last June, when they were paddling upstream into the 
sunset. Guy was charming ; in a way she could be almost 
as fond of him as of Richard, but what would she say to 
Richard if she let Guy carry off Margaret ? Besides, it was 
unkind not to have a word for her when she was always 
such a good listener to his tales of Miss Peasey, and when 




66 Guy and Pauline 

they could always laugh together at the same absurdities of 
daily life. Perhaps he had felt that Margaret, who had 
been so critical over his curtains, must be propitiated 
and yet now he was already going without a word to her- 
self : he was shaking hands with her so formally that, 
though she longed to teaze him for wearing silk socks with 
those heavy brogues, she could not. He seemed to be angry 
with her . . . surely he was not angry because she had 
hailed him from the window. 

" What was the matter with Guy ? " she asked when he 
was gone, and when everybody looked at her sharply, 
Pauline felt herself on fire with blushes ; made a wild 
stitch in the tail of the scarlet bird ; and then rushed away 
to look for the lost embrocation, refusing to hear when 
they called after her that Mother had been sitting on it all 
the afternoon. 

The windows along the corridors were inky blue, almost 
turning black, as she stared at them, half frightened in the 
unlighted dusk : outside, the noise of the rain was in- 
creasing every moment. She would sit up in her bedroom 
till dinner-time and write a long letter to India. By 
candlelight she wrote to Richard, seated at the small desk 
that was full of childish things. 

WYCHFORD RECTORY 
OXON. 

Tuesday. 
My dear Richard, 

Thank you for your last letter which was very interest- 
ing. I should think your bridge was wonderful. Will you 
come back to England when it's finished ? There is not much 
to tell you except that a man called Guy Hazlewood has taken 
Flashers Mead. He is very nice, or else I should have hated 
him to take the house you wanted. He is very tall not so tall 
as father, of course and he is a poet. He has a very nice bob- 



Jointer 67 

tail and, a touching housekeeper who is deaf. Birdwood likes 
him very much ; so I expect you would too. Birdwood wants 
to know if it's true that people in India oh, bother, now Fve 
forgotten what it was, only I know he's got a bet with God- 
bold' s nephew about it. Guy you mustn't be jealous that we 
call him Guy because he really is very nice has just been in 
to tea. Margaret is a darling, but I wish you'd take my 
advice and write more about her when you write. Of course I 
don't know what you do write, and Fm sure she really is 
interested in your bridge, but of course you must remember 
that she's not used to the kind of bridges you're building. But 
she's a darling and I'm simply longing for you to be married so 
that I can come and stay with you when I'm an old maid which 
I've quite made up my mind I'm going to be. Guy has been 
gardening with Father a good deal. Father says he's fairly 
intelligent. Isn't Father sweet ? He drank your health at 
dinner the other night without anybody's reminding him it 
was your birthday. I think Guy likes Monica best. I don't 
think he cares at all for Margaret except of course he must 
admire her Margaret is such a darling ! Oh, a merry 
Christmas because it will be Christmas before you get this 
letter. Percy Brydone and Charlie Willsher came to dinner 
last month. They were so touching and bored. 

Lots of love from 

Tour loving 

Pauline. 
Don't forget about writing to Margaret more about herself. 

Pauline put the letter in its crackling envelope with a 
sigh for the unformed hand in which it was written. 
Nothing brought home to her so nearly as this handwriting 
of hers the muddle she was always apt to make of things. 
How it sprawled across the page, so unlike Monica's that 




68 Guy and Pauline 

was small and neat and exquisitely formed or Margaret's 
that was decorated with fantastic and beautiful affectations 
of manner. It was obvious, of course, that her sisters must 
always be the favourites of everybody, but it had been 
rather unkind of Guy to avoid her so obviously to-day. 
Richard had always realized that even if she were impulsive 
and foolish she was also tremendously sympathetic. 

" For I really am sympathetic," she assured her image in 
the glass, as she tried to make the light brown hair look tidy 
enough to escape Margaret's remonstrances at dinner. If 
Guy were hopelessly in love with Margaret, how sym- 
pathetic she would be ; and she would try to explain to 
him how interesting an unhappy love-affair always made 
people. For instance there was Miss Verney whom every- 
body thought was just a cross old maid ; but if they had 
only seen, as she had seen, that cracked miniature, what 
romance even her cats would possess. She must take Guy 
to see Miss Verney or bring Miss Verney to see Guy : a 
meeting must somehow be arranged between these two, who 
would surely be drawn together by their misfortunes in 
love. Guy was exactly the person whom an unhappy love- 
affair would become. It would be so interesting in ten 
years' time, when she would be nearly thirty and old enough 
to be Guy's confidante without anybody's interference, to 
keep back the inquisitive world from Flashers Mead. No 
doubt by then Guy would be famous : he always spoke 
with such confidence of fame. Monica and Margaret 
would both be married, and she would still be living at the 
Rectory with her father and mother. Pauline, as she 
pictured the future, saw no change in them, but rather 
sacrificed to the ravages of time her own appearance and 
Guy's, so that at thirty she fancied both herself and him as 
already slightly grey. The gong sounded from the depths 
of the house, and hastily she snatched from her wardrobe 
the first frock she found : it happened to be a white one, 



Winter 69 

more suitable to June than to December, with a skirt of 
many flounces all stiffly starched. After rustling down 
passages and stairs she reached the dining-room just as the 
others were going into dinner. 

" Pauline, how charming you look in that frock," her 
mother exclaimed. " Why it's like Summer just to see you." 

Pauline was very happy that night because her mother 
and sisters petted her with the simple affection for which 
she was always longing. 

The next day seemed fine enough to justify Mrs. Grey, 
Margaret and Monica in making an expedition into Oxford 
to see about Christmas presents ; and in the afternoon, 
while Pauline was sitting alone in the nursery, Guy was 
shown in by Janet. Pauline felt very shy and blushful 
when she met him so intimately as this, after all her plans 
for him on the night before. He too seemed ill at ease, 
and she was sadly positive he missed Margaret. The sense 
of embarrassment lasted until tea-time, when Janet came 
in to say that the Rector hearing of Mr. Hazlewood's 
arrival had decided to have tea in the nursery. 

" Oh, what fun," cried Pauline clapping her hands. 
" Janet, do give him the mug with ' A PRESENT FOR A GOOD 
BOY ' on it." 

" Dear me, Miss Pauline, what things you do think of, I 
do declare. Well, did you ever ? Tut-tut ! Fancy, for 
your father too ! " 

Nevertheless Janet sedately put the mug on the tray. 
When she was gone Pauline turned to Guy, and said : 

" I'm sure Father thinks he ought to come and chaperone 
us. Isn't he sweet ? " 

Presently the Rector appeared looking very tall in the 
low doorway. He nodded cheerfully to Guy : 

" Seen Vartani ? You know, he's that pale blue fellow 
from Nazareth. Very often he's a washy lilac, but this is 
genuinely blue." 




70 Guy and Pauline 

" No, I don't think I noticed it him, I mean," said Guy 
apologetically. 

" Oh, Father, of course he didn't ! It's a tiny iris," she 
explained to Guy, " and Father puts in new roots every 
year. . . ." 

" Bulbs, my dear, bulbs," corrected Mr. Grey. " It's 
one of the Histrio lot." 

" Well, bulbs. And every year one flower comes out in 
the middle of the winter rain and lasts about ten minutes, 
and then all the summer Birdwood and Father grub about 
looking for the bulb, which they never find, and then 
Father gets six new ones." 

They talked on, the three of them, about flowery subjects 
while the Rector drank his tea from the mug without a 
word of comment on the inscription. Then he went off to 
write a letter, and Guy with a regretful glance at the room 
supposed he ought to go. 

" Oh, no, stay a little while," said Pauline. " Look, it's 
raining again." 

It was only a shower through which the declining sun was 
lancing silver rays. As they watched it from the window 
without speaking, Pauline wondered if she ought to have 
given so frank an invitation to stay longer. Would Mar- 
garet have frowned ? And how odd Guy was this afternoon. 
Why did he keep looking at her so intently as if about to 
speak, and then turn away with a sigh and nothing said. 

" I do love this room," said Guy at last. 

" I love it too," Pauline agreed. 

" May I ask you something ? " 

" Yes, of course." 

" You spoke to Margaret the other day about someone 
called Richard. Do you like him very much ? " 

" Yes, of course. Only you mustn't ask me about him. 
Please don't. I've promised Margaret I wouldn't talk about 
him. Please, please, don't ask me any more." 



Winter 7 l 

" But leaving Margaret out of it, do you like him . . . 
well . . . very much better than me, for instance ? " 

Guy used himself for comparison with such an as- 
sumption of carelessness as might give the impression that 
only by accident did he mention himself instead of the leg 
of the table, or the kitten. 

" Oh, I couldn't tell you that. Because if I said I liked 
you even as much, I should feel disloyal to Richard, and he's 
the best friend I've got. Oh, do let's talk about something 
else. Please do, Mr. Hazlewood." 

" Oh, look here, I'm going," exclaimed Guy, and he went 
instantly. 

Pauline felt unhappy to think she had hurt his feelings ; 
but he should not expect her to like him better than 
Richard. If Richard were married to Margaret, it might be 
different ; but suppose that Margaret fell in love with 
Guy ? Pauline felt her heart almost stop beating at the 
notion, and she made up her mind that if such a calamity 
befell it would be entirely her fault. The idea that she 
should so betray Richard's confidence made her miserable 
for the rest of the evening. Yet, though she was unhappy 
about Richard, it was always the picture of Guy hurrying 
from the nursery and his reproachful backward look that 
was visibly before her mind. And in the morning when she 
woke up, it was with a strange unsatisfactory feeling such 
as she had never known before. Yesterday came back to 
her remembrance with a great emptiness, seeming to her a 
day which had somehow never been properly finished. Here 
was the rain again raining, raining ; and the old prospect 
of dreary weather that would not change for months. 

A Week went by without any sign of Guy. There were 
no amusing evenings now when he stayed to dinner : there 
were no delightful days of planting bulbs in the garden : 
there was nothing indeed to do, but visit bedridden old 
ladies to whom fine or bad weather no longer mattered. 



72 Guy and Pauline 



Yet nobody else except herself seemed at all unhappy about 
it. Actually not one of the family commented upon Guy's 
absence. 

" I really am afraid that Margaret is heartless," said 
Pauline to her image in the glass. " She doesn't seem to care 
a bit whether he is here or not." 

Then suddenly the weather changed. The country 
sparkled with hoar frost, and everybody forgot about the 
rain, asking if ever before such weather had been known for 
Christmas. Guy was invited to dinner at the Rectory, and 
Pauline forgot about her problems in the pleasure that the 
jolly afternoon brought. Self-consciousness under the 
critical glances of Monica and Margaret vanished in the 
atmosphere of intimacy shed by the occasion. She could 
laugh and make a great noise without being reproved, and 
Guy himself was obviously more at home than he had ever 
been. There seemed a likelihood that now once again the 
progress of simple friendship would advance undisturbed 
by the complications of love, and Pauline was glad to be 
able to assure herself that Guy did not that afternoon 
display the slightest sign of a hopeless passion for Margaret. 
He was more in his mood and demeanour of last month, ?.nd 
diverted them greatly with an account of struggling to 
explain to Graves, the deaf and dumb gardener, what he 
wanted done in the garden. 

" But didn't Birdwood help you ? " they asked laughing. 

" Well, Birdwood showed me what I ought to do," said 
Guy. " But it seemed such a rough method of information 
that I hadn't the heart to adopt it. You see, as far as 
I could make out, it consisted of pulling up a cabbage by 
the root, hitting Graves on the head with it, and then 
nodding violently. That meant * clear away these cabbages.' 
Or if Birdwood wanted to say ' plant broccoli here,' he dug 
Graves in the ribs with the dibbler and rubbed his nose in 
the unthinned seedlings." 



I 



Winter 73 

" What does Miss Peasey say ? " asked Pauline who was 
in a state of the highest amusement, because deaf and dumb 
Graves was one of the villagers who lived under her par- 
ticular patronage. 

" Well, at first Miss Peasey was rather huffed, because 
she thought Graves was mocking her by pretending to be 
deaf. Now, however, she comes out and watches him at 
work and hopes that next Spring there'll be a little more 
variety in the garden." 

The sunny sparkling weather lasted for a few days after 
Christmas ; and one morning Pauline, walking by herself on 
Wychford down, met Guy. 

" I wondered if I should see you," he said. 

" Did you expect to see me, then ? " 

" Well, I knew you often came here, and this morning 
I couldn't resist coming here myself." 

Pauline felt a sudden impulse to run away ; and yet most 
unaccountably the impulse led her into walking along with 
Guy at a brisk pace over the close-cropped glittering turf. 
Round them trotted Bob in eddies of endless motion. 

" Listen," said Guy. " I'm sure I heard a lark singing." 

They stopped, and Pauline thought that never was there 
so sweet a silence as here upon the summit of this green 
down. Guy's lark could not be heard. There was not even 
the faint wind that sighs across high country. There was 
nothing but gorse and turf and a turquoise sky floating on 
silver deeps and distances above the winter landscape. 

" When the gorse is out of bloom, kissing's out of 
fashion," he said, pointing to a golden spray. 

Pauline had heard the jingle often enough, but spoken 
solemnly like this by Guy on Wychford down it flooded her 
cheeks with blushes, and in a sort of dear alarm the truth 
of it declared itself. She was startlingly aware of a new life, 
as it were demanding all sorts of questions of her. She felt 
a shyness that nearly drove her to run away from her com- 




74 Guy and Pauline 

panion and yet at the same moment brought a complete 
incapacity for movement of any kind, an incapacity too that 
was full of rapture. She longed for him to say something 
of such convincing ordinariness as would break the spell and 
prove to her that she was still Pauline Grey ; while with all 
her desire for the spell to be broken, she was wondering if 
every moment she were not deliberately offering herself to 
enchantment. 

" Have you ever felt," Guy was asking, " a long time 
after you've met somebody, as if you had suddenly met them 
again for the first time ? " 

Pauline shook her head vaguely. Then with an effort she 
recaptured her old self and said laughing : 

" But then, you see, I never think about anything." 

" Sleeping beauty, sleeping beauty," said Guy. 

And with an abrupt change of manner, he began to throw 
sticks for Bob, so that the lucid air was soon loud with 
continuous barking. 

" I wonder if we shall ever meet again on Wychford 
down," said Guy as together they swung along the rolling 
highroad towards the village. 

A horse and trap caught them up before Pauline could 
answer the speculation, and Mr. Godbold, as he passed, 
wished them both a very good morning. 

" Godbold seems extraordinarily interested in us," Guy 
remarked, when for the third time before he turned the 
corner Mr. Godbold looked back at them. 

" Oh, I wonder . . ." Pauline began, expressing with her 
lips sudden apprehension. 

:c You mean, he thought it strange to see us together ? " 

" People in the country . . ." she began again. 

" Why don't you hurry on alone ? " Guy asked. " And 
I'll come in to Wychford later." 

" Don't be stupid. What do the Wychford people 
matter ? Besides I should hate to do anything like that." 






Winter 75 

She was half angry with Guy for the suggestion. It 
seemed to cast a shadow on the morning. 

When Pauline got back home, she told them all about 
her meeting with Guy : nobody had a word of disapproval, 
not even Margaret, and the faint malaise of uncertainty 
vanished. 

After tea, however, Mrs. Grey came in looking rather 
agitated. 

" Pauline," she began at once. " You must not meet 
Guy alone like that again." 

" Oh, darling Mother, you are looking so pink and 
flustered," said Pauline. 

" No, there's nothing to laugh at. Nothing at all. I was 
most annoyed. Four of the people I visited actually had 
the impertinence to ask me if you and Guy were engaged." 

Pauline went off into peals of laughter and danced about 
the room ; but when she was alone and thought again of 
what the gossips were saying, she suddenly realized it was 
not altogether for Richard's sake that she had dreaded the 
idea of Guy's falling in love with Margaret. 



^January 



P LASHERS MEAD and the Rectory were not the 
only romantic houses in Wychford. Indeed the 
little town as a whole had preserved by reason of 
its remoteness from railways and important highroads the 
character given to it during the many years of prosperity 
which lasted until the reign of Charles the First. From 
that time it had slowly declined ; and now with a stagna- 
tion that every year was more deeply accentuated by modern 
conditions it was still declining. New houses were never 
built, and even the King's Head, a pledge of commercial 
confidence in the Hanoverian succession, seemed to flaunt 
with an inappropriate modernity its red bricks mellowed by 
the passage of two centuries. Apart from this rival to the 
Stag Inn the fabric of Wychford was uniformly grey, to 
which, notwithstanding Miss Peasey's declaration of same- 
ness, variety was amply secured by the character of the 
architecture. Gables and mullions ; oaken eaves and 
corbels carefully ornamented ; latticed oriels and sashed 
bows ; roofs of steep unequal pitch to which age had 
often added strange undulations ; chimney stacks of stone 
and gothic entries, all these gave variety enough ; and if 
the whole effect was too sober for Miss Peasey's taste, the 
little town on the hillside was now safe for ever from the 
brightening of the dolls-house spirit. 

Wychford could still be called a town, for it possessed 
a few side-streets, along the grassgrown cobbles of which 
there still existed many houses of considerable beauty and 
dignity. These had lapsed into a more apparent decay, 
because a dwindling population had avoided their direct 



IF inter 77 

exposure to the bleak country and had left them empty. 
In the High Street this melancholy of bygone fame was 
less noticeable, and here scarcely a house was unoccupied. 
Some buildings, indeed, had been degraded to unworthy 
usages ; and it was sad to see Perpendicular fireplaces 
filled with cheap lines in drapery, or to find an ancient 
chantry trodden by pigs and fowls. Generally, however, 
the High Street to the summit of its steep ascent had an air 
of sedate prosperity that did not reflect the reality of a slow 
depopulation. 

About half way up the hill on the other side of the town 
from Flashers Mead and the Rectory was a side-street called 
Abbey Lane that, instead of leading to open country, was 
bounded by a high stone wall. This blocked the thorough- 
fare except so far as to allow a narrow path to skirt its base 
and give egress along some untidy cottage-gardens to a 
cross-road farther up the hill. 

In the middle of the wall confronting the street two 
columns surmounted with huge round finials showed 
where there had once been a gate wide enough to admit a 
coach. Above the wall a belt of high trees obscured the 
view and gave a dank shadow to the road beneath. At one 
corner a small wooden wicket with a half obliterated pro- 
clamation of privacy enabled anyone to pass through the 
wall and enter the grounds of Wychford Abbey. This 
wicket opened directly on a path that wound through a 
plantation of yews interspersed with tall beeches and elms 
whose overarching tops intensified even in wintry leafless- 
ness the prevalent gloom. The silence of this plantation 
made Wychford High Street seem in remembrance a noisy 
cheerful place, and the mere crackling of twigs and beech- 
mast induced the visitor to walk more quietly, fearful of 
profaning the mysteriousness even by so slight an indication 
of human presence. The plantation continued in tiers of 
trees down the hill to the Greenrush, which had been 



78 Guy and Pauline 






deepened by a dam to support this gloom of overhanging 
branches with slow and solemn stream. The path, however, 
kept to the level ground and emerged presently upon a large 
square of pallescent grass the farther side of which was 
bounded by a deserted house. 

There were no ruins of the ecclesiastical foundation to 
fret a gothic moonlight, but Wychford Abbey did not 
require these to justify the foreboding approach ; and the 
great Jacobean pile, whose stones the encroaching trees had 
robbed of warmth and vitality, brooded in the silence with 
a monstrous ghostliness that was scarcely heightened by the 
signs of material decay. Nevertheless the casements whose 
glass was filmy like the eyes of blind men or sometimes 
diced with sinister gaps ; the cracks and fissures in the 
external fabric ; the headless supporters of the family 
coat ; and the roof slowly being torn tile from tile by ivy, 
did consummate the initial impression. Within, the desola- 
tion was more marked. A few rotten planks had been 
nailed across the front door, but these had been kicked 
down by inquisitive explorers, and the hall remained per- 
petually open to the weather. In some of the rooms the 
floors had jagged pits, and there was not one which was 
not defiled by jackdaws, owls and bats. Strands of sickly 
ivy, which had forced an entrance through the windows, 
clawed the dusty air. A leprosy had infected the plaster 
ceilings so that the original splendour of their mouldings had 
become meaningless and scarcely any longer discernible ; 
and the marble of the florid mantelpieces was streaked with 
abominable damp. The back of the house seemed to go 
beyond the rest in the expression of utter abandonment. 
Crumbling walls with manes of ivy enclosed a series of 
gardens rank with docks and nettles and almost impene- 
trable on account of the matted briars. As if to add the 
final touch of melancholy the caretaker (for somewhere in 
the depths of the house existed ironically a caretaker) had 



Winter 79 

cultivated in this wilderness some dreary patches of potatoes. 
Beyond the forsaken parterres stretched a great unkempt 
shrubbery where laurels, peterswort and hollies struggled in 
disorderly and overgrown profusion for the pleasure of 
numberless birds, and where a wide path still maintained 
its slow diagonal down the hillside to the river's edge. 

Such were the surroundings Guy chose to embower the 
doubts and hesitations that followed close upon the morning 
when on Wychford down he had been so nearly telling 
Pauline he loved her. Perhaps the almost savage gloom of 
this place helped to confirm his profound hopelessness. A 
black frost had succeeded the sparkle of Christmastide. The 
banks of the river in such weather were impossible, for the 
wind .came biting across the water-meadows and piped 
in the withered reeds and rushes with an intolerable melan- 
choly. Here in the grounds of Wychford Abbey there was 
comparative warmth, and the desolation suited the unfortu- 
nate end he was predicting for his hopes. To begin with, 
it was extremely improbable that Pauline cared about him. 
His assay with regard to Richard had not been encouraging, 
and his worst fears of being too late for real inclusion within 
the charm of the Rectory were surely justified. He had 
known all along how much exaggerated were his ambitions, 
and he wished now that in the first moment of their spring- 
ing he had ruthlessly strangled them. Moreover, even if 
Pauline did ultimately come to care for him, how much 
farther was he advanced upon the road of a happy issue ? 
It were presumptuous and absurd with only 150 a year to 
propose marriage, and if he gave up living here and became a 
schoolmaster at home, he knew that the post would be made 
conditional upon a willingness to wait as many years for 
marriage as the wisdom of age decreed. Besides, he could 
not take Pauline from Wychford and imprison her at Fox 
Hall to dose little boys with Gregory's Powder or check the 
schedule of their underclothing. The only justification for 



So Guy and Pauline 



1 



taking Pauline away from the Rectory would be to make 
her immortal in poetry. Yet encouraging as lately one or 
two epithets had certainly been, he was still far from 
having written enough to fill even a very thin book ; and 
really as he came to review the past three months he could 
not say that he had done much more or much better than 
in the days when Flashers Mead was undiscovered. Time 
had lately gone by very fast not merely on account of the 
jolly days at the Rectory, but also because weeks that were 
terminated by weekly bills seemed to be endowed with a 
double swiftness. 

" I really must eat less meat," said Guy to himself. 
" It's ridiculous to spend eleven shillings and sixpence 
every week on meat . . . that's roughly .30 a year. Why, 
it's absurd. And I don't eat it. Bother Miss Peasey ! 
What an appetite she has got." 

He wondered if he could break through the barrier of his 
housekeeper's deafness so far as to impress upon her the fact 
that she ate too much meat. She spent too much, also, on 
small things like pepper and salt. This reckless buying of 
pepper and salt made the grocer's bill an eternal irritation, 
for it really seemed absurd to be spending all one's money 
on pepper and salt. Yet people did live on 150 a year. 
Coleridge had married with less than that and apparently 
had got on perfectly well, or would have if he had not 
been foolish in other ways. How on earth was it done ? He 
really must try and find out how much for instance Bird- 
wood spent every week on the necessities of life. That was 
the worst of Oxford . . . one came down without the 
slightest idea of the elementary facts of domestic economy. 
There had been a lot of soda bought last week. He remem- 
bered seeing it in one of those horrid little slippery trades- 
men's books. Soda ? What was it for ? Vaguely Guy 
thought it was used to soften water, but there were plenty 
of rain tubs at Plashers Mead, and soda must be an un- 



Jointer 8 1 

justifiable extravagance. Then Miss Peasey herself was 
getting 18 a year. It seemed very little, so little indeed 
that when he paid her every month, he felt inclined to 
apologize for the smallness of the amount, but little as it 
was it only left him with 132. Knock off 30 for meat 
and he had 102. 18 must go in rent and there was left 
84. Then there was milk and bread and taxes and the 
subscription to the cricket-club and the subscription to all 
the other vice-presidencies to which the town had elected 
him. There was also Graves his deaf and dumb gardener, and 
a new bucket for the well. Books and clothes, of course, 
could be obtained on credit, but even so sometime or other 
bills came in. Guy made a number of mental calculations, but 
by no device was he able to make the amount required come to 
less than 82. That left 2 for Pauline, and then by the way 
there was the dog-licence which he had forgotten. Thirty- 
two and sixpence for Pauline ! Guy roamed through the sad 
arbours of Wychford Abbey in the depths of depression, and 
watched with a cynical amusement the birds searching for 
grubs in the iron ground. He began to feel a positive sense 
of injury against love which had descended with proverbial 
wantonness to complicate mortal affairs. He tried to 
imagine the Rectory without Pauline, and when he did so 
all the attraction was gone. Yet distinctly when he had first 
met the Greys, he had not thought more often of Pauline 
than of her sisters. What perversity of circumstance had 
introduced love ? 

" It's being alone," said Guy. " I feed myself upon 
dreams. Michael was perfectly right. Wychford is a place 
of dreams." 

He would cure this love-sickness. That was an idea for 
a sonnet. Damn ! ' / attempt from love's sickness to fly.' 
It need not be said again. At the same time, poem or not, 
he would avoid the Rectory and shut himself close in that 
green room which Margaret and Monica had thought so 




82 Guy and Pauline 

crude with undergraduate taste. If this cold went on, there 
would be skating ; and he began to picture Pauline upon the 
ice. The vision flashed like a diamond through these 
gloomy groves, and with the soughing of the skates in his 
ears and the thought of Pauline's hands criss-cross in his 
own, Guy's first attack on love ended in complete sur- 
render. Skating meant long talks with never a curious 
eye to cast dismay ; and in long talks and rhythmic motion 
possibly she might come to love him. Guy's footsteps began 
to ring out upon the iron-bound walk, and of all the sad ghosts 
that should have haunted his path, there was not one who 
walked now beside him ; for, as he dreamed upon the 
vision of Pauline, the melancholy of that forsaken place 
was lightened with a sort of April exultation and the 
promise of new life to gladden the once populous gardens 
where lovers might have been merry in the past. 

However, when he was back in his house, Guy's earlier 
mood returned, and he made up his mind anew not to go to 
the Rectory. Nothing would do for him but the metaphysics 
and passion of Dr. John Donne ; and on the dreary evening 
when the frost yielded to rain before there had been one 
day's skating, Guy was as near as anyone may ever have been 
to conversing with that old lover's ghost who died before 
the god of Love was born. All his plans wore mourning, 
and the bills that week rose two-and-sixpence-halfpenny 
higher than their highest total so far. Guy moped in his 
green library and, as he read through the manuscripts of 
poetry that with the progress of the night seemed to him 
worse and worse, he wished he could recapture some of that 
self-confidence which had carried him so serenely through 
Oxford ; and he asked himself if Pauline's love would 
endow him once more with that conviction of ultimate 
fame, to the former safe tenure of which he now looked 
back as from a disillusioned old age. 

Another week passed, and Guy wondered what they were 



Jointer 83 

thinking of him at the Rectory for his neglect of all they 
might justly suppose had been offered him. Absence from 
Pauline did not seem to have effected much so far except a 
complete paralysis of his power to work with that diligence 
he had always preached as the true threshold of art. Perhaps 
he had been always a little too insistent upon the merit of 
academic industry, too conscious of a deliberate embarkation 
upon a well-built career, too careful of mere equipment in 
his . exploration of Parnassus. So long as he had been 
exercizing his technical accomplishment, everything had 
seemed to be advancing securely toward the moment when 
inspiration should vitalize the promise of his craftsmanship. 
Now inspiration was at hand, and accomplishment had 
betrayed him. These effusions of restless love which he 
had lately produced were surely the most wretched cripples 
ever sent to climb the Heliconian slope. Guy looked at his 
notebook and marked how many apostrophes, the impulses 
to declaim which had seemed to scorch his imagination 
with bright ardours, had, alas, failed to kindle his un- 
inflammable pencil. He derived a transient consolation 
from Browning's Pauline which was surely as inadequate as 
his own verse to celebrate the name. ' Pauline, mine own, 
bend o'er me' That opening half-line was the only one 
which moved him. But after all Browning did not esteem 
his own Pauline and had written it when he was twenty. 
Himself was twenty-two, and could not declare his passion 
in one lyric. A graceful sonnet for his father's birthday 
would not compensate for this dismaying failure. Moreover 
in rhymes, thought Guy, Pauline was no niggard ; and 
with a nicker of sardonic humour he recalled how many 
Swinburne had found for Faustine. 

It was Godbold who fed the vexations and torments 
of untried love with the bitterest medicine of all. 
He had come down to see Guy about an old chair 
that had to be fetched from a neighbouring village 



84 Guy and Pauline 




and, when his business was over, seemed inclined to chat 
for a while. 

"Have you ever noticed, Mr. Hazlewood," he began, 
" as there's a lot of people in this world who know more 
than a man knows himself ? " 

Guy indicated that the fact had struck him. 

" Well, now, just because I happen to see you with Miss 
Pauline the other morning, there's half-a-dozen wise 
gabies in Wychford who've almost married you to her out 
of hand." 

Guy tried not to look annoyed. 

" Oh, you may well frown, Mr. Hazlewood, for as I said 
to them, it's nothing more than nonsense to tie up a young 
man and a young woman just because they happen to take 
a walk together on a fine morning." 

" I hope this sort of intolerable gossip isn't still going 
on," said Guy savagely. 

" Oh, well, you see, sir, Wychford is a middling place for 
gossip. And if it wasn't one of the Miss Greys it would be 
some other young Miss roundhereabouts. Human nature, 
like pigeons, is set on mating." 

" I hope you'll contradict this ridiculous rumour," said 
Guy. 

" Oh, I have done already. In fact I may say that one 
of my principles, Mr. Hazlewood, is to contradict every- 
thing. As I said to them, when they was talking about it in 
the post-office the other night, and that post-office is a rare 
place for gossip ! Perhaps you've noticed that the nosiest 
man in a town always gets made postmaster ? Where had 
I got to ? ah, yes, I said to them, ' You know a great lot 
about other people's business,' I said, ' but when I tell you 
that old Mrs. Mathers who lives in the last cottage but one 
in Rectory Lane says she's taken particular note as Mr. 
Hazlewood has never been near the Rectory for the last 
fortnight unless it was once when she heard footsteps and 



Winter 85 

hadn't time to get to the window to see who it was on 
account of the kettle being on the boil at that moment, 
where's your Holy Matrimony ? ' I said. With that up 
speaks Miss Burge from the back of the shop whose father 
used to keep the King's Head before he dropped deadjof 
the apoplexy on Shipcot platform. * That doesn't say he 
hasn't gone round by the field the same as Mr. Burrows's 
servant used to when she was being courted by We'll- 
mention-no-names.' * No, and that he hasn't either,' said 
I smacking the counter, for I was feeling a bit angry by 
now at all this poking about in other people's business, 
* that he hasn't,' I said, ' because the Rectory cook asked me 
most particular if there was anything the matter down at 
Flashers Mead seeing as Mr. Hazlewood hadn't been near 
the Rectory for a fortnight. That doesn't look like Holy 
Matrimony,' I said, and with that I walked out of the post- 
office. Mr. Hazlewood," Godbold concluded very earnestly, 
" the gossip of Wychford is something as no one would 
believe, if they hadn't heard it, as I have, every mortal day 
of my life." 

Guy could have laughed on his own account, but the 
notion of Pauline's being dragged into the chatter made 
him furious. Yet what could he do ? If he went frequently 
to the Greys' house, he must be engaged according to 
Wychford. And if he did not go . . . 

" I suppose they'll be saying next that the engagement 
has been broken off," he enquired with cold sarcasm. 

" Oh, they have said it. Depend upon it, Mr. Hazle- 
wood, it undoubtedly has been said." 

It began to appeal to Guy as extremely undignified the 
way in which he had let Godbold chatter on like this. 

" I'm afraid I must be getting back to my work," he said 
curtly. 

" That's right. Work's the best answer to talk. Did you 
feel it much here in that rainy spell ? " 



86 Guy and Pauline 

" The meadows were a bit splashy of course, but the 
water never got anywhere near the house." 

" But it will. Don't you make any mistake. It will. 
Only of course we've had a dry autumn. Why, last June 
year Miss Peasey could have been fishing for minnows in 
her kitchen. Now that seems a nice upstanding sort of 
woman. A Wesleen, they tell me ? I haven't seen her in 
church that I can remember, and which would account for 
it. But I never talk to the chapel folk, they being that un- 
civilized. She's rather deaf, isn't she ? " 

" Yes, and therefore cannot gossip," Guy snapped. 

" Well, I don't know," said Godbold doubtfully. " Some 
of the most unnatural scandals I ever heard were made by 
deaf women. Though that doesn't mean I'm saying Miss 
Peasey is a talker." 

" I'm sure she isn't," Guy agreed. " Good-night, Mr. 
Godbold." 

" Good-night, Mr. Hazlewood, don't you be discouraged 
by the gossip in Wychford. I always say, if you believe 
nothing you hear, next to nothing of what you read, and 
only half of what you see, no one can touch you. Good- 
night once more, sir. And don't you fret over what people 
say. I remember they once said I tried to work a horse 
which had the blind staggers, and Mrs. Godbold was that 
aggravated she went and washed a shirt of mine twice over, 
worrying herself. Good-night, Mr. Hazlewood." 

This time the red-bearded carrier of Wychford (not an 
inappropriate profession for him) really departed, leaving 
Guy in a state of considerable resentment at the thought 
of the Wychford commentary. 

That night the raw drizzle turned to snow ; and when he 
looked out of his window next morning, it was lying thick 
over the country and was making his bedroom seem as grey 
as the loaded clouds above. That exhilaration of a new 
landscape which comes with snow drove away some of 



Winter 87 

Guy's depression, and after breakfast he went out, curious 
to contemplate its effect upon the Abbey. In the black 
frost the great pile had seemed to possess scarcely more 
substance than a shredded leaf; and when it lay sodden 
beneath the dripping trees, a manifest decay had made 
extinction infamous with the ooze of a rotting fungus. The 
weather now had brought a strange restoration to the 
abandoned house, and so completely had the covering of 
snow hidden most of the signs of dissolution that Wychford 
Abbey seemed no longer dead, but asleep in the quiet of a 
winter morning. The lawn in front stretched before it in 
decent whiteness, and the veiling of the ragged unhealthy 
grass took away from the front of the house that air of 
wan caducity, endowing the stones by contrast with tinted 
warmth and richness. The decrepit roof was hidden, and 
Wychford Abbey dreamed under its weight of snow with 
all the placid romance of a house on a Christmas card. The 
dark plantation was deprived of its gloom, and what was 
usually a kind of haunted stillness was now aspectful peace. 
Guy went over the crinching ground and strolled down the 
broad walk through the shrubbery. Everywhere the snow 
glistened with the footprints of many birds, but not a 
single call broke a silence which was cold and absolute 
except for the powdery whisper of the snow where it was 
sliding from the holly leaves. 

When Guy reached the bottom of the shrubbery, he sat 
down on a fallen trunk by a backwater, which dried up here 
in the drift of dead leaves ; and he watched the surface of it 
glazing perceptibly, yet not so fast but that the faint 
motion of the freezing air could write upon the smoothness 
a tremulous reticulation. He had not been resting long 
when he saw Margaret coming toward him down the walk, 
and with so light a tread that in her white coat she might 
have been a figment created for his fancy by the snow. He 
wondered if a sense of the added beauty her presence gave 



88 Guy and Pauline 

the scene were in her mind. Probably it was, for Margaret 
had a discreet vanity that would never gratify itself so well 
as when she was alone ; and plainly she must suppose 
herself alone, since here on this snowy morning she would 
not have expected to meet anybody. Guy thought it would 
be considerate to draw aside without spoiling her dream 
whatever the subject of the meditation. However, as he 
rose from the log to take the narrow path along the back- 
water and so turn homeward across the fields by the river, 
Margaret saw him and waved with a feathery gesture. As 
Guy went up the path to greet her, he was thinking how 
much her hair was like a dark leaf that had shaken off the 
snow, so easily might her blanched attire have fallen upon 
her from the clouds ; then, as he came close, every charming 
fancy was suddenly spoilt by a remembrance of Wychford 
gossip, and he turned hastily round to see if there were 
prying glances in the laurels. 

" What are you looking at ? " she asked. 

" A squirrel," said Guy quickly. He would not have had 
his absence from the Rectory ascribed to any fear of gossip ; 
moreover, since a meeting with Margaret did not make his 
conscience the thrall of public opinion, he would not have 
her discreet vanity at all impaired. Therefore it was a 
squirrel he saw. 

" We've been wondering what has become of you," she 
said. 

" Well, I've been working rather hard ; and as a matter 
of fact I was going to the Rectory this afternoon. Isn't the 
snow jolly after the rain ? Especially here, don't you 
think ? " 

She nodded. 

" I've got to go and visit an old woman who lives almost 
in Little Fairfield, and I thought I'd avoid as much as I 
could of the high road." 

" Shall I come with you ? " asked Guy, but in so doubtful 



Winter 89 

a voice that Margaret laughingly declared she was sure he 
was in a state of being offended with the Rectory. 

" Oh, Margaret, don't be absurd. Offended ? " 

" Over the curtains ? " she asked. 

" Why if it wouldn't betray a gross insensibility to your 
opinion, I should tell you I thought no more about what 
you said. Besides, we've had reconciling Christmas since 
then." 

" Ah, but you see, Pauline is always impressing on Monica 
and me our cruelty to you, and by this time Mother has 
been talked into believing' in our hard and impenitent 
hearts." 

" Pauline is . . ." Guy broke off and saw another 
squirrel. He could not trust himself to speak of Pauline, 
for in this stillness of snow he felt that the lightest remark 
would reveal his love ; and there was in nature this 
morning a sort of suspense that seemed to rebuke un- 
uttered secrets. 

" Well, as you're walking with me to Fairfield or nearly 
to Fairfield your neglect of us shall be forgiven," Margaret 
promised. " Here we are out of the warm trees already. 
I'm glad I came this way, though I think it was rather 
foolish. Look how deep the snow seems on that field we've 
got to cross." 

" It isn't really," said Guy, vaulting over the fence that 
ran round the confines of the Abbey wood. 

" Ah, now you've spoilt it," she exclaimed. But 
Margaret did not pause a moment to regret the ruffling of 
that sheeted expanse and they walked on silently, watching 
the toes of their boots juggle with the snow. 

" It generally is a pity," said Guy after a while. 

" What ? " 

" Impressing one's existence on so lovely and inviolate 
a thing as this." He indicated the untrodden field in front 
of them. 



90 Guy and Pauline 



" But look behind you," said Margaret. " Don't 
think our footprints look very interesting ? " 

" Interesting, perhaps," Guy admitted. " Yet foot- 
prints in snow never seem to be going anywhere." 

" Now I know quite well what you're doing," Margaret 
protested. " You're making that poor little wobbly track 
of ours try to bear all sorts of mysterious and symbolic 
intensities of meaning. Just because you're feeling annoyed 
with a sonnet, footprints in the snow mustn't lead any- 
where. Why, Guy, if I told you what sentimental 
import my 'cello sometimes gives to a simple walk before 
lunch ... I mean of course when I've been playing 
badly." 

She sighed, and Guy wondered if the violoncello had 
been used with as little reference as a sonnet to the real 
cause of the mood. 

" Why did you sigh just now ? " he asked after another 
minute or two of silent progress. 

" I wonder whether I'll tell you. No, I don't think I 
will. And yet . . ." 

" And yet perhaps after all you will," said Guy eagerly. 
" And if you do, I'll tell you something in turn." 

" That's no bribe," said Margaret laughing. " You 
foolish creature, don't you think I know what you'll 
tell me ? " 

Guy shook his head. 

" I don't think you do. You may suspect. But for that 
matter, so may I. Isn't what you might have told me some- 
thing that might most suitably be told on the way to Fair- 
field ? " 

"You've been talking about me to Pauline," said 
Margaret angrily. 

" Never," he declared. " But you don't suppose you can 
have all these mysterious allusions to Richard without my 
guessing that his father is Vicar of Fairfield. Dear Margaret, 



you 



Winter 9 1 

forgive me for guessing and tell me what you were going 
to tell." 

" Have you heard I was engaged to Richard Ford ? " 
she asked. 

" I heard he was in love with you." 

" Oh he is, he is," she murmured, and Guy thinking of 
Richard in India wondered if he ever dreamed of Margaret 
walking like this in a snowy England. The clock in Fair- 
field church struck eleven with an icy tinkle that on the 
muted air sounded very thinly. " But the problem for me," 
Margaret went on, " is whether I'm in love with him, or if 
Richard is merely the nicest person who has been in love 
with me so far." 

" Well, if you'd asked me that three months ago," Guy 
said, " I would have answered decidedly that you weren't 
in love with him if you had one doubt. But now . . . well, 
you know really now I'm rather in the state of mind that 
wants everybody to be in love. And why do you think 
you're not in love with him ? " 

" I haven't really explained well," said Margaret. " What 
I'm sure of is that I'm not as much in love with him as I 
want to be in love." 

" You're living opposite a looking-glass," said Guy. 
" That's what is the matter." 

They had reached the stile leading over into the high 
road, and Margaret gazed back wistfully at the footprints 
in the snow, before they crossed it and went on their way. 

" Yes," she said. " I am conceited. But my conceit is 
really cowardice. I long for admiration, and when I am 
admired I despise it. I lie in bed thinking how well I play 
the 'cello, and when I have the instrument by me I don't 
believe I can play even moderately well. I am really fond 
of him, but the moment I think that anybody else is think- 
ing about my being fond of him I almost hate his name. 
I can't bear the idea of going to live in India and I detest 



92 Guy and Pauline 



bridges you know he builds bridges and yet I couldn 
possibly write to him and say that he must think no more 
about me. I'm really a mixture of Monica and Pauline, 
and so Pm not as happy as either of them." 

" Yes, I suppose Pauline is very happy," said Guy in a 
depressed voice. 

" What am I to do ? " Margaret asked. 

" I'm sure you're much more in love than you think," he 
declared quickly, for he had the ghost of a temptation to 
tell her she was foolish to think any more of a love so 
uncertain as hers. There was enough jealousy of his 
standing at the Rectory to give him the impulse to rob 
Richard of his foothold, but the meanness destroyed itself 
on this virginal morning almost before Guy realized it had 
tried to exist. " Yes, I'm sure you're really in love," he 
repeated. " I think I can understand what you feel." 

" Do you ? " said Margaret shaking her head a little 
sadly. " I'm afraid it's only a very willing sympathy on 
your part, for I'm sure I don't understand myself. That's 
why I'm conceited, perhaps. I'm trying to build up a 
Margaret Grey for other people to look at, which I admire 
like any pretty thing one makes oneself, and perhaps why 
I can't fall really in love is because I'm afraid of someone's 
understanding me and showing me to myself." 

" You'd have to be very clever to disappoint that person," 
said Guy. " And why shouldn't Richard Ford be the one ? " 

" Oh, he'll never discover me," said Margaret. " That's 
what's so dull." 

" Aren't you a little unreasonable ? " Guy asked. 

" Of course I am. Now don't let's talk about me any 
more : I'm really not worth discussing only just because 
my family is so exquisite and because I adore them, I never 
talk about Richard to them. Here's the old woman's 
cottage. I shan't be more than a few minutes." 

Guy felt honoured by Margaret's confidence, but his 



in't 



Winter 93 

heart was so full of Pauline that he transferred all the 
substance of what she had been saying to suit his own case. 
Would Pauline never know if she were in love ? Would he 
be doomed to the position of Richard ? Or worse, would 
Pauline fly from his love in terror of anything so disturbing 
to the perfection of her life at present ? On the whole he 
was inclined to think that this was exactly what she would 
do ; and he felt he would never have the courage to startle 
her with the question. When he thought of the girls to 
whom in the past of long vacations he had made protesta- 
tions of devotion that were light as the thistledown in the 
summery meadows where they were uttered, it was in- 
credible that the asking of Pauline should speed his heart 
like this. With other girls he had always imagined them 
slightly in love with him, but for Pauline to be in love with 
him seemed hopeless, though he qualified his humility by 
assuring himself that she could be in love with nobody. 
Did Margaret really have a suspicion that he was in love 
with Pauline ? If she had, why had she not drawn his 
confidence before she gave her own ? She came out from 
the cottage as he propounded this, and he told her, when 
their faces were set towards Wychford and a chilly wind 
that was rising, how he had been thinking about her con- 
fidence all the while she was in the cottage. Moreover, he 
was under the impression this was the truth. 

" But don't think about me any more," she commanded. 

" Never ? " 

" Not until I speak first. Isn't it cold ? You must have 
been frozen waiting for me." 

They hurried along talking mostly, though how the topic 
arose Guy never knew, about whether Alice in Wonderland 
were better than Alice Through the Looking-glass or not. 
The quotations that went to sustain the argument were so 
many that they arrived back very quickly, it seemed, at the 
stile leading into the snowy field. 



94 Guy and Pauline 

" Will you go home the same way ? " Guy suggested. 
" Look, nobody has spoilt our tracks. They're jollier than 
ever, and do you see those rooks farther down the field ? 
It will snow again this afternoon and our footprints will 
vanish." 

By the time they reached the Abbey wood Guy had made 
up his mind that as they walked up through the shrubbery, 
unless people were listening there, he would tell Margaret 
how deeply he was in love with Pauline. The resolution 
taken, his throat seemed to close up with nervousness, and 
vaulting over the fence he tripped and fell in a snow drift. 

" Why this violent activity all of a sudden ? " Margaret 
asked. 

He laughed gloomily and vowed it was the exhilarating 
weather. Up the broad walk they went slowly, and every 
yard was bringing them dreadfully nearer to Wychford 
High Street and the profanation of this snowy silence. 
Abruptly a robin began to sing from a bough almost over- 
head ; and, Guy realizing half-unconsciously that unless 
he told Margaret now, his words would die upon that 
robin's rathe melody, said : 

" Margaret, you'll probably be angry, but I must tell you 
that I'm in love with your sister." 

He drove his stick deep into the snow to give his eyes the 
excuse of looking down. 

" With Pauline," she said softly. 

He congratulated himself upon the cunning with which 
he had at least thrown something on Margaret of the 
responsibility, as he almost called it. Had she said Monica, 
it would have killed his hope at once. 

" Of course I know it must sound ridiculous, but . . ." 

" Is she in love with me ? " asked Margaret with tender 
mockery. " Well, I think she may be. Perhaps I'm almost 
sure she is." 

" Margaret," said Guy seizing her hand. " I hope you'll 



Winter 95 

be the happiest person in the world always. You know, 
don't you, that I'm dying for you to be happy." 

There may have been tears in her eyes as she responded 
with faintest pressure of her hand to his affection. 

" And you won't forget all about me and take no more 
interest in what will seem my maddening indecision, when 
you and Pauline are happy ? " 

" My dear, as if I could," he exclaimed. 

" Lovers can forget very easily," said Margaret. " You 
see I've thought such a lot about being in love that I've got 
everyone else's conduct clearly mapped out in my mind." 

Guy stopped dead ; and, as he stopped, the robin now 
far behind them ceased his song, and even the flute of the 
wind sounding on distant hollows and horizons cracked in 
the frost so that the stillness was sharp as ice itself. 

" Margaret, what makes you think Pauline cares for me ? 
How dare I be so fortunate ? " 

" Because you know you are fortunate," said Margaret, 
nor could falling snow have touched his arm more lightly 
than she. " Why do you suppose I told you about Richard 
if it was not because I thought you appreciated Pauline ? " 

" Ah, how I shall always love the snow," Guy exclaimed, 
grinding the slippery ball upon his- heel to powder. 

" But now I've got a disappointment for you," said 
Margaret. " Pauline and Monica are going into Oxford 
to-day for a week." 

" You won't tell anybody what I've told you ? " he 
begged. 

" Of course not. Secrets are much too fascinating not to 
be kept as long as possible." 

He opened the wicket, and presently they parted in the 
High Street. 

" I shall come in this afternoon," he called after her. 
" Unless you're bored with me." 

She invited him with her muff and seemed to float out of 



96 Guy and Pauline 

sight. Suddenly Guy remembered that sometime this 
morning (it seemed as long ago as when Wychford Abbey 
was alive) Bob had been with him. He was glad of an 
excuse to go back and look for the dog in those now conse- 
crated arbours. There the robin still sang his rathe pensive 
tune ; and there from a high ash-bough a missel-thrush, 
wearing full ermine of the Spring, saluted the vestal day. 




February 

PAULINE started to Oxford with Monica, feeling 
rather disappointed she had not seen Guy before 
she went ; for Margaret had come home with 
news of having walked with him to Fairfield, and it was 
tantalizing, indeed a little disturbing, to leave him behind 
with Margaret. 

" Nothing is said to Margaret," Pauline protested at 
lunch, " when she goes out for a walk with Guy. Father, 
don't you think it's unfair ? " 

" Well, darling Pauline," interrupted Mrs. Grey with 
an anxious glance towards her second daughter. " You see, 
Margaret is in a way engaged." 

" I'm not engaged," Margaret declared. 

" But I'm asking Father," Pauline persisted. " Father, 
don't you think it's unfair ? " 

The Rector was turning over the pages of a seed-cata- 
logue and answered Pauline's question with that engaging 
irrelevancy to which his family and parish were accustomed. 

" It's disgraceful for these people to offer seeds of Incar- 
villea Olgae. My dears, you remember that anaemic magenta 
brute, the colour of a washed-out shirt ? Ah," he sighed, 
" I wish they'd get that yellow Incarvillea over. I am 
tempted to fancy it might be as good as Tecoma Smithii, 
and of course coming from that Yang-tse-kiang country, it 
would be hardy." 

" Francis dear ! " Pauline cried. " Don't you think it's 
unfair ? " 

" Pauline," said her mother. " You must not call your 
father Francis in the dining-room." 
G 97 



98 Guy and Pauline 



The Rector oblivious of everything continued to turn 
slowly the pages of his catalogue. 

" Oh, bother going to Oxford," said Monica looking out 
of the window to where Janet with frozen breath listened 
for the omnibus under gathering snow clouds. 

" Now, really," Pauline exclaimed, diverted from her 
complaint of Margaret's behaviour by another injustice. 
" Isn't Monica too bad ? She's grumbling, though it was 
she who made the plan to stay with the Strettons. And 
though they're her friends and not mine, I've been made to 
go too." 

" Well, I hate staying with people," Monica explained. 
" So do I," said Pauline. " And you accepted the invita- 
tion for me that day you were in Oxford buying Christmas 
presents, when you forgot to buy the patience-cards I 
wanted to give poor Miss Verney, so that I had to give her 
a horrid little china dog though she hates dogs." 

" Now I'm sure it'll be charming, yes, charming, when 
you get there," Mrs. Grey affirmed hopefully. 

" Oh, how glad I am I'm not going," said Margaret. 
" I think you ought to go instead of me," Pauline told 
her. 

" They're not my friends," Margaret replied with a 
shrug. 

" No, but they're more your friends than mine," Pauline 
argued. " Because you're nearer to Monica. They're four 
years off being my friends and only two from being yours." 
" Miss Monica," said Janet coming into the room. 
" The bus has come out from the King's Head yard, and 
you'll be late." 

There was instantly a confusion of preparation by Mrs. 
Grey and Pauline, while Monica sighed at the trouble of 
departure and Margaret with exasperating indifference sat 
warm and triumphant by the fire. 

" Good gracious," the Rector exclaimed, flinging the 



arn 

DUt 



Jointer 99 

catalogue down and speaking loud enough to be heard over 
the feverish search for Pauline's left glove. " These people 
have the impudence to advertize Penstemon Lobbii as a 
novelty when it's really our old friend Breviflorus. What 
on earth is to be done with these scoundrels ? " 

The horn of the omnibus sounded at the end of Rectory 
Lane ; and the fat guard was marching through the snow 
with the girls' luggage. The good-byes were all said ; and 
presently Pauline with her muff held close to her cheeks 
against the North wind was sitting on top of the omnibus 
that was toiling up the Shipcot road. As she caught sight 
of Plashers Mead etched upon the white scene, she wished 
she had left a message with Margaret to say in what deep 
disgrace Guy was. On they laboured across five miles of 
snow-stilled country with sparse flakes melting upon the 
horses' flanks and never a wayfarer between Wychford and 
Shipcot to pause and stare at them. 

On the second night of their stay with the Strettons, 
Monica, when she and Pauline were going to bed, suddenly 
turned round from the dressing-table and demanded in 
rhetorical dismay why they had come. 

" Never mind," said Pauline. " We've only got five 
more evenings." 

" Well, that's nearly a week," Monica sighed. " And 
I'm tired to death of Olive already." 

" But I'm much worse off," Pauline declared dolefully. 
" Because I have to sit next to the Professor, who does 
frighten me so. You see, he will include me in the conversa- 
tion. Last night at dinner, after he'd been talking to that 
don from Balliol who knew Guy and whom I was dying 
to ask ... to talk to myself, I mean, he turned round to 
me and said, ' I am afraid, Miss Pauline, that Aramaic roots 
are not very interesting to you.' Well, of course I got 
muddled between Aramaic and aromatic, and said that 
Father had just been given a lot which were very poisonous." 



ioo Guy and Pauline 

Monica laughed that sedate laugh of hers, which always 
seemed to Pauline like a clock striking, so independent was 
it of anybody's feelings. 

" Monica darling, I don't want to be critical," said 
Pauline. " But you know sometimes your laugh sounds just 
a little a very little self-satisfied." 

" I think I am rather self-satisfied," Monica agreed, 
combing her golden hair away from her high pale forehead. 
" And Margaret is conceited, and you're twice as sweet as 
both of us put together." 

" Oh, no I'm not, oh, no, no, Monica dearest, I'm not," 
Pauline contradicted hurriedly. " No, really I'm very 
horrid. And, you know, when I'm bored I'm sure I show 
it. Oh dear, I hope the Strettons didn't notice I was bored. 
Mrs. Stretton was so touching with the things they had 
brought back from Madeira, and I do hate things people 
bring back from places like Madeira." 

" And when you're not bored with anybody," said 
Monica, " you're rather apt to make that too obvious 
also." 

" Monica, why are you saying that ? " Pauline asked with 
wide-open eyes. 

" Even supposing Guy is in love with you," said Monica, 
slowly blowing out the candles on the dressing-table as she 
spoke, so that nothing was left but the rosy gas, " I don't 
think it's necessary to show him quite so clearly that you're 
in love with him" 

" Monica ! " 

" Darling little sister, I do so want you ... oh, how can 
I put it ? Well, you know, when you break the time in a 
trio, as you sometimes do . . ." 

" But I'm not in love with Guy," Pauline interrupted. 
" At least, oh, Monica, why do you choose a house like this 
to tell me such things ? " she asked with tears and blushes 
fighting in her countenance. 



Winter 101 

" Pauline, it's only that I want you to keep in time." 

" I can't possibly stay with the Strettons another five 
days," declared Pauline in deepest gloom. " You ought 
not to say things like that here." 

She was looking round this strange bedroom for the com- 
fort of familiar pictures, but there was nothing on these 
pink walls except a view of the Matterhorn. Monica was 
kneeling to say her prayers, and in the stillness the frost out- 
side seemed to be pressing against the window-panes. 
Pauline thought it was rather unfair of Monica to fade like 
this into unearthly communications ; and she knelt down 
to pray somewhat vagrant prayers into the quilted eider- 
down that symbolized the guest-room's luxurious chill. 
She longed to look up in aspiration and behold Saint Ursula 
in that tall bed of hers or cheerful Tobit walking with his 
dog in the angel's company, and in the corner her own desk 
that was full of childish things. She rose from her knees 
at the same moment as Monica, who at once began to talk 
lightly of the tiresome people at dinner and seemed utterly 
unconscious of having wounded Pauline's thoughts. Yet 
when the room was dark, for a long while these wounded 
thoughts danced upon the wintry air that breathed of 
Wychford. * Even supposing Guy is in love with you? It was 
curious that she could not feel very angry with Monica. 
' Even supposing Guy is in love with you? It really seemed 
a pity to fall asleep : it was like falling asleep when music 
was being played. 

The subject of Guy was not mentioned again, but during 
the days that remained of the visit, Pauline scarcely felt 
that she was living in the Strettons' house, and was so absent 
in her demeanour that Monica was disturbed into what was 
for her a positive sociableness to counteract Pauline's 
appearance of inattention. To consummate the vexation of 
the visit there came a sudden thaw two days before they 
left, and Oxford was ankle-deep in slush. Finally Pauline 



io2 Guy and Pauline 

and Monica were dragged through the very nadir of depres- 
sion when on their last night they were taken out to dinner 
in trams and goloshes through such abominable conditions 
of weather. 

" Fancy not ordering a cab," whispered Monica with cold 
disapproval. 

" Perhaps they can't afford it," Pauline suggested. 

" They can afford to go to Madeira," answered Monica, 
" and buy all those stupid knick-knacks." 

" Well, Monica, they are your friends, you know," said 
Pauline. 

However, the first of February arrived next morning, 
and Oxford was left behind. Pauline sighed with relief when 
they were seated in the train, and the twenty miles of 
country to Shipcot that generally seemed so dull were as 
green and welcome as if they were returning from a Siberian 
exile. 

" You know, Monica, I really don't think we ought to 
stay with people. I don't think it's honest to spend such a 
hateful week as that in being pleasant," she declared. 

" I didn't notice that you were taking much trouble to 
hide your boredom," said Monica. " It seems to me that 
I was always in a state of trying to steer people round your 
behaviour." 

" Oh, but Professor Stretton loves me," said Pauline. 

She was trying not to appear excited as the omnibus 
swished and slapped through the mud towards Wychford. 
She was determined that in future she would lead that 
enclosed and so serene life which she admired in her eldest 
sister. Nobody could criticize Monica except for her 
coldness, and Pauline knew that herself would never be 
able to be really as cold as that however much she might 
assume the effect. 

" Grand weather after the snow," said the driver. 

The roofs of Wychford were sparkling on the hillside, 



Winter 103 

and earth seemed to be turning restlessly in the slow winter 
sleep. 

" This mud'll all be gone with a week of fine days like 
to-day," said the driver. 

Flashers Mead was in sight now, but it was Monica who 
pointed to where Guy and his dog were wandering across 
the meadows that were so vividly emerald after the snow. 

" I think it is," agreed Pauline indifferently. 

In the Rectory garden a year might have passed, so great 
was the contrast between now and a week ago. Now the 
snowdrops were all that was left of the snow ; and a 
treasure of aconites as bright as new guineas were scattered 
along the borders. Hatless and entranced the Rector was 
roaming from one cohort of green spears to another, each 
one of which would soon be flying the pennons of Spring. 
Pauline rushed to embrace him, and he without a word led 
her to see where on a sunny bank Greek anemones had 
opened their deep-blue stars. 

" Blanda," he whispered. " And I've never known her 
so deep in colour. Dear me, poor old Ford tells me he 
hasn't got one left. I warned him she must have sun and 
drainage, but he would mix her with Nemorosa just to 
please his wife, which is ridiculous particularly as they are 
never in bloom together." 

He bent over and with two long fingers held up a flower 
full in the sun's eye, as he might have stooped to chuck 
under the chin a little girl of his parish. 

Monica had brought back a new quartet, which they 
practised all that Candlemas Eve. When it was time to go 
to bed Mrs. Grey observed in a satisfied voice that after all 
it must have been charming at the Strettons. 

" Oh, no, Mother, it was terribly dull," Pauline pro- 
tested. 

" Now, dear Pauline, how could it have been dull, when 
you've brought back this exquisite Schumann quartet ? " 



104 Guy and Pauline 

Margaret came to Pauline's room to say good-night, sat 
with her while she undressed and tucked her up so lovingly 
that Pauline was more than ever delighted to be back at 
home. 

" Oh, Margaret, how sweet you are to me. Why ? Is 
it because you really do miss me when I go away ? " 

" Partly," said Margaret. 

" Why are you smiling so wisely ? Have you put some- 
thing under my pillow ? " Pauline began to search. 

" There's nothing under your pillow, except all the 
thoughts I have to-night for you." 

Once more Margaret leaned over and kissed her, and 
Pauline faded into sleep upon the happiness of being at 
home again. 

Next day after lunch her mother and sisters went to pay 
a long postponed call upon a new family in the neighbour- 
hood, because Margaret insisted they must take advantage 
of this glorious weather which would surely not last very 
long. 

Pauline spent the early afternoon with the Rector and 
Birdwood, writing labels while they sowed a lot of new 
sweet-peas which had been sent to the Rector for an opinion 
upon their merits. The clock was striking four when 
Guy strolled into the garden. Somehow Pauline's labels 
were not so carefully written after his arrival, and at last 
the Rector advised her to take Hazlewood and show him 
Anemone Blanda. They left the big wall-garden and went 
across the lawn in front of the house to the second wall- 
garden, where most of the Rector's favourites grew as it 
pleased them best. 

" Oh, they've all gone to bed," said Pauline. 

Guy knelt down and opened the petals of one. 

" They're exactly the colour of your eyes," he said looking 
up at her. 

Pauline was conscious that the simple statement was 



Winter 105 

fraught with a significance far greater than anything which 
had so far happened in her life. It was ringing in her ears 
like a bugle-call that sounded some far-flung advance, and 
involuntarily she drew back and began to talk nonsense 
breathlessly, while Guy did not speak. Nor must she let 
him speak, she told herself, for behind that simple com- 
parison how many questions were trembling. 

" Oh, I wonder if the others are back yet," she finally 
exclaimed, and forthwith hurried from the garden toward 
the house. She wished she must not look back over her 
shoulder to see Guy following her so gravely. Of course, 
when they were standing in the hall, the others had not 
come back ; and the house in its silence was a hundred 
times more portentous than the garden. And what would 
Guy be thinking of her for bringing him back to this voice- 
lessness in which she could not any longer talk nonsense ? 
Here the least movement, the slightest gesture, the most 
ordinary word would be weighted for both of them with 
an importance that seemed unlimited. For the first time 
the Rectory was strangely frightening ; and when through 
the silent passages they were walking toward the nursery, it 
was the exploration of a dream. Yet, however undis- 
coverable the object that was leading them, she was glad to 
see the nursery door, for there within would surely come 
back to her the ease of an immemorial familiarity. Yet in 
that room of childhood, that room the most bound up with 
the simple progress of her life, she found herself counting 
the birds, berries and daisies upon the walls, as if she were 
beholding them vaguely for the first time. Why was she 
unpicking Margaret's work or folding into this foolish 
elaboration of triangles Monica's music ? And why did 
Guy behave so oddly, taking up all sorts of unnatural 
positions, leaning upon the rickety mantelshelf, balancing 
himself upon the fender, pleating the curtains and threading 
his way with long legs in and out, in and out of the chairs ? 



io6 Guy and Pauline 

" Pauline ! " 

He had stopped abruptly by the fireplace and was not 
looking at her when he spoke. Oh, he would never succeed 
in lifting even from the floor that match which with one 
foot he was trying to lift on to the other foot. 

" Pauline ! " 

Now he was looking at her ; and she must be looking at 
him, for there was nothing on this settee which would give 
her a good reason not to look at him. The room was so still 
that beyond the closed door the hoarse tick of the cuckoo- 
clock was audible ; and what was that behind her which 
was fretting against the window-pane ? And why was she 
holding with each hand to the brocade, as if she feared to 
be swept altogether out of this world ? 

" Pauline ! " 

Was it indeed her voice on earth that said * yes ' ? 

" Pauline, I suppose you know I love you ? " 

And she was saying * yes.' 

" Pauline, do you love me ? " 

And again she had said ' yes.' 

Outside in the corridor the cuckoo snapped the half- 
hour : then it seemed to tick faster and a thousand times 
faster. She must turn away from Guy, and as she turned she 
saw that what had been fretting the window-pane was a 
spray of yellow jasmine. Upon the cheek that was turned 
from him the dipping sun shed a warm glow, but the one 
nearer was a flame of fire. 

" Pauline ! " 

He had knelt beside her in that moment ; and leaning 
over to his nearness, Pauline looked down at her hand in 
his, as if she were gazing at a flower which had been gathered. 






SPRING 



March 

THE doubts and the joys of the future broke upon 
Guy with so wide and commingled a vision, that 
before the others got home and even before Janet 
came in with tea he hurried away from that nursery, where 
over the half-stilled echoes of childhood he had heard the 
sigh of Pauline's assent. The practical side of what he had 
done could be confronted to-morrow, and with a presage of 
hopelessness the word might have lain heavily upon his mind, 
if on the instant of sinking it had not been radiantly winged 
with the realization of the indestructible spirit that would 
henceforth animate all the to-morrows of time. No day 
could now droop for him, whatever the difficulties it 
brought, whatever the hazards, when he had Pauline and 
Pauline's heart : and like disregarded moments the years of 
their life went tumbling down into eternity, as the meaning 
of that sighed out assent broke upon his conscience with 
fresh glory. 

" You'll tell your mother to-night ? " he asked. " I 
think Margaret will know when she sees your shining eyes." 

" Are my eyes shining ? " 

" Ah, don't you know they are, when you look into 
mine ? " 

Guy could have proclaimed that he and she were stars 
flashing to one another across a stupendous night ; but 
there were no similes that did not seem tawdry when he 
threw them round Pauline. 

" Child, child, beloved child," he whispered ; and his 
voice faltered for the pitiful inadequacy of anything that 
he could call her. What words existed, with whatever 

109 



no Guy and Pauline 






tenderness uttered, with whatever passion consecrated by 
old lovers, that would not still be words, when they were 
used for Pauline ? Guy watched for a moment the cheek 
that was closer to his lips write in crimson the story of her 
love. He wished he could tell his love for her with even the 
hueless apograph of such a signal ; and yet, since anything 
he said was only worthy of utterance in so far as she by this 
ebb and flow of response made it worthy, why should he 
trouble that cheek which, sentient now as a rose of the sun, 
hushed all but wonder. 

" Good-bye." 

He bent over and touched her hand with his lips. Then 
the Rectory stairs had borne him down like a feather : the 
Rectory door had assumed a kind of humanity, so that the 
handle seemed to relinquish his grasp with an affectionate 
unwillingness. Out in the drive, where the purple trees 
were washed by the February dusk, he stood perplexed at 
himself because in a wild kiss he had not crushed Pauline 
to his heart. Had it been from some scruple of honour 
in case her father and mother should not countenance his 
love ? Had it sprung out of some impulse to postpone for 
a while a joy that must be the sharpest he would ever 
know ? Or was it that in the past he had often kissed too 
lightly so that now, when he really loved, he could not 
imagine the kiss unpassionate and fierce that would seal 
her immortally to love, yet leave her still a child ? 

As he paused in that golden February dusk, Guy rejoiced 
he had told his love in such an awe of her girlhood ; and 
when from the nursery window Pauline blew one kiss and 
vanished like a fay at mortal trespassing, he floated home- 
ward upon the airy salute, weighing no more than a seed 
of dandelion to his own sense of being. Upon his way he 
observed nothing, neither passer-by nor carts in the muddy 
roads. As he crossed the bridge, the roar of the water into 
the mill-pool was inaudible, nor did he hear his melodious 



Spring 



i ii 



garden ways. And when Miss Peasey came to his room with 
the lamp, he could not realize for a moment who she was 
or what she was talking about. The hour or two before 
dinner went by as one tranced minute ; in a dream he went 
down to dinner ; in a dream he began to carve ; in a dream 
the knife remained motionless in the joint, so that Miss 
Peasey coming to enquire after his appetite thought it was 
stuck in a skewer. Upstairs in the library again, he dreamed 
the evening away ; and when the lamp hummed slowly and 
oilily to extinction he still sat on, till at last the fire perished 
and from complete darkness he roused himself and went to 
bed.1 

Guy was under the cloud of a reaction when he rang the 
Rectory bell on the morning after. The door looked less 
amicable, and the dragon-headed knocker stared balefully 
while he was waiting to be let in. He wondered for whom 
of the family he ought to ask, but Mrs. Grey came nervously 
into the hall and invited him into the drawing-room. 

" Pauline has gone over to Fairfield," she began in jerky 
sentences. " Charming . . . yes, charming, you came this 
morning." 

The sun had not yet reached the oriel of the drawing- 
room, that with shadows and fragrance was welcoming 
Guy where he sat in a winged armchair beside the fire. Time 
was seeming to celebrate the momentousness of his visit by 
standing still as in a picture, and he knew that every word 
and every gesture of Mrs. Grey would in his memory rest 
always enambered. He was glad, and yet in the captivating 
quiet a little sorry, that she began to speak at once : 

" Of course Pauline told me about yesterday. And of 
course I would sooner she were in love with a man she loved 
than with a man who had a great deal of money. But of 
course you mustn't be engaged at once. At least you can 
be engaged ; you are engaged. Oh, yes, of course, if you 
weren't engaged, I shouldn't allow you to see each other, 



ii2 Guy and Pauline 






and you shall see each other occasionally. Francis has not 
said anything. The Rector will probably be rather doubt- 
ful. Of course I told him ; only he happened to be very 
busy about something in the garden. But he would want 
Pauline to be happy. Of course she is my favourite at 
least I should not say that. I love all my daughters, but 
Pauline is well, she has the most beautiful nature in the 
world. My darling Pauline ! " 

Mrs. Grey's eyes were wet, and Guy was so full of affec- 
tionate gratitude that it was only by blinking very hard at 
a small picture of Pauline hanging beside the mantelpiece 
he was able to keep his own dry. 

" I have a nicer picture than that, which I will give you," 
Mrs. Grey promised. " The one that I am fondest of, the 
one I keep beside my bed. Perhaps you would like a picture 
of her when she was seventeen ? She's just the same now, 
and really I think she'll always be the same." 

" You are too good to me, Mrs. Grey," he sighed. 

" We are all so fond of you . . . even the Rector, though 
he is not likely to show it. Pauline is perhaps more like me. 
Her impulsiveness comes from me." 

" Ought I to talk to the Rector about our engagement ? " 
Guy asked. 

" Oh, no, no ... it would disturb him, and I don't 
think he'll admit that you are engaged. In fact he said 
something about children : but I would rather ... at 
least, of course, you are children. But Margaret says you 
can't be quite a child or you would not be in love with 
Pauline. And now if you go along the Fairfield road, you'll 
meet her. But that is only an exception. Not often. 
I think to-day she might be disappointed if you didn't 
meet her. And come to lunch, of course. Poetry is a little 
precarious, but at any rate for the present we needn't talk 
about the future. I wish your mother were still alive. I 
think she would have loved Pauline." 



Spring 1 1 3 

" She would have adored her," said Guy fervently. 

" And your father ? Of course you'll bring him to tea, 
when he comes to stay with you. That will be charming 
. . . yes, charming. Now hurry, or you'll miss her." 

Guy had no words to tell Mrs. Grey of the devotion she 
had inspired ; but all the way down the Fairfield road he 
blessed her and hoped that somehow the benediction would 
make itself manifest. Then, far away, coming over the 
brow of a hill he saw Pauline. It was one of those hills with 
a suggestion of the sea behind them, so sharply are they cut 
against the sky. This was one of those hills that in childhood 
had thrilled him with promise of the faintly imaginable ; 
and even now he always approached such a hill with a dream 
and surmise of new beauty. Yet more wonderful than any 
dream was the reality of Pauline coming towards him over 
the glistening road. She was shy when he met her, and the 
answers she gave to his eager questions were so softly spoken 
that Guy was half afraid of having exacted too much from 
her yesterday. Did she regret already the untroublous 
time before she knew him ? Yet it was better that she 
should walk beside him in still unbroken enchantment, that 
the declaration of his love should not have damaged the 
wings seeming always unfolded for flight from earth : so 
would he wish to keep her always, that never this Psyche 
should be made a prisoner by him. The elusive quality of 
Pauline which was shared in a slighter degree by her sisters 
kept him eternally breathless, for she was immaterial as a 
cloud that flushes for an instant far away from the sunset. 
And yet she was made with too much of earth's simple 
beauty to be compared with clouds. Her sisters had the 
ghostly serenity and remoteness that might more appro- 
priately be called elusive. Pauline gave more the effect 
of an earthly thing that transcends by the perfection of its 
substance even spirit ; and rather was she seeming, though 
poised for airy regions, still sweetly content with earth. 



ii4 Guy and Pauline 




She had not been more elusive than eglantine overarching 
a deep lane at Midsummer, for he had pulled down the 
spray, and it was the fear of a petal falling too soon from 
the tremulous flowers that gave him this sense of awe as he 
walked beside her. 

Yet once again Guy found his comparisons poor enough 

when he looked at Pauline, and he exclaimed despairingly : 

" There are no words for you. I wanted to say to 

your mother what I thought about you. Oh, she was so 

charming." 

" She is a darling," said Pauline. " And so is Father." 
They were come to the stile where he and Margaret had 
watched their footprints on the snow. 

" And Margaret was very sympathetic, you know," he 
went on. "Really, if it hadn't been for her, I should never 
have dared to tell you I loved you. We talked about her 
and Richard. . . ." 

" Margaret does love him. She does," Pauline declared. 
" Only she will ask herself questions all the time." 

How she changed when she was speaking of Richard, 
thought Guy a little jealously. Why could she not say out 
clearly like that her love for him ? 

" You do love me this morning ? " he asked. She was 
standing on the step of the stile, and he offered his hand to 
help her down. " Won't you say ' I love you ' ? " 

But only with her eyes could she tell him, and as, her 
finger-tips on his, she jumped from the step, she was im- 
ponderable as the blush upon hei cheeks. 

" In the summer," said Guy, " you and I will be on the 
river together. Will you be shy when Summer comes ? " 
" Monica says I'm not nearly shy enough." 
" What on earth does Monica expect ? " 
They were under the trees of Wychford Abbey, and Guy 
told her of the days he had spent here, thinking of her and of 
the hopelessness of her loving him. 



Spring 1 1 5 



" I could not imagine you would love me. Why do you ?" 

She shook her head. 

" One day we'll explore the inside of the house together, 
shall we ? " 

" Oh, no, I hate that place. Oh, no, Guy, we'll never go 
there. Come quickly, I hate that house. Margaret loves 
it and says I'm morbid to be afraid. But I shudder when 
I see it." 

They hurried through the dark plantation ; and Guy 
under the influence of Pauline's positive terror felt strangely 
as if, were he to look behind, he would behold the house 
leering at them sardonically. 

People too eyed them, as they went down High Street 
and turned into Rectory Lane. Guy had a sensation of all 
the inhabitants hurrying from their business in the depths 
of their old houses to peer through the casements at 
Pauline and him ; and he was glad when they reached the 
Rectory drive and escaped the silent commentary. 

When she was at home again Pauline's spirits rose 
amazingly ; and all through lunch she was so excited, that 
her mother and sisters were continually repressing her 
noisiness. Guy on the contrary felt woefully self-con- 
scious and was wondering all the while with how deep 
a dislike the Rector was regarding him and if after lunch 
he would not call him aside and solemnly expel him from 
the house. As they got up from the table, the Rector 
asked if Guy were doing anything particular that after- 
noon and on receiving an assurance that he was not, the 
Rector asked if he would help with the sweet-peas that still 
wanted sorting. Guy in a bodeful gloom said he would be 
delighted. 

" I shall be in the garden at two," said the Rector. 

" Shall I come as well and help ? " Pauline offered. 

" No, I want you to take some things into the town for 
me," said the Rector. 



n6 Guy and Pauline 

Guy's heart sank at this confirmation of his fears. Out 
the hall Margaret took him aside. 

" Well, are you happy ? " 

" Margaret, you've been beyond words good to me.' 

" Always be happy," she said. 

Even Monica whispered to him that he was lucky, and 
Guy was so deeply impressed at being whispered to by 
Monica that it gave him a little courage for his interview. 
He joined the Rector in the garden punctually at two, and 
worked hard with labels and classifications. 

" -^7," the Rector read out. " A lavender twice as big as 
Lady Grizel Hamilton. Z)zi. An orange that will not burn. 
Humph ! I don't believe it. Do you believe that, Bird- 
wood ? " 

The gardener shook his head. 

" There never was an orange as didn't burn like a house 
on fire the moment the sun set eyes on it." 

" Of course it'll burn, and anyhow there's no such thing 
as an orange sweet-pea. If there is, it's Henry Eckford." 

" Henry isn't orange," said Birdwood. " Leastways not 
an orange like you get at Christmas." 

" More buff ? " 

" Buff as he can be," said Birdwood. " What do you 
think, Mr. Hazlenut ? " he went on, turning to Guy and 
winking very hard. 

" I really don't know him ... it ..." said Guy. 

" 05," the Rector began again. " A cream and rose 
'picotee Denser. Yes, I daresay,'' he commented. " And 
with about as much smell as distilled water." 

So the business went on, with Guy on tenterhooks all the 
while for his own summing-up by the Rector. He thought 
the moment was arrived when Birdwood was sent off on an 
errand and when the Rector getting up from his kneeler 
began to shake the trowel at him impressively. But all he 
said was : 



Spring 1 1 7 



" Tingitana's plumping up magnificently. And we'll 
have some flowers in three weeks the first I shall have had 
since the Diamond Jubilee. Sun ! Sun ! " 

Guy jumped at the apostrophe, so nearly did it approxi- 
mate to * son-in-law.' But of this relation nothing was 
said, and now Pauline was calling out that tea was ready. 

" Go in, my dear fellow," said the Rector. " I've still 
a few things to do in the garden. By the way was your 
father at Trinity, Oxford ? " 

" No, he was at Exeter." 

" Ah, then, I didn't know him. I knew a Hazlewood at 
Trinity." 

The Rector turned away to business elsewhere, and Guy 
was left to puzzle over his casual allusion. Perhaps he ought 
to have raised the subject of being in love with Pauline, for 
which purpose the Rector may have given him an opening. 
Or did this enquiry about his father portend a letter to him 
from the Rector about his son's prospects ? He certainly 
ought to have said something to make the Rector realize 
how much tact would be necessary in approaching his 
father. Pauline called again from the nursery window, and 
Guy hurried off to join the rest of the family at tea. 

In the drawing-room Mrs. Grey, Monica and Margaret 
all seemed anxious to show their pleasure in Pauline's 
happiness ; and Guy in the assurance this old house gave 
him of a smooth course for his love ceased to worry any 
longer about parental problems and was content to live in 
the merry and intimate present. He realized how far he 
was advanced in his relation to the family when Brydone, 
the doctor's son, came in to call. Guy took a malicious 
delight in his stilted talk, as for half-an-hour he tried 
to explain to Monica, a grave and abstracted listener, 
how the pike would in March go up the ditches and 
the shallow backwaters and what great sport it was to snare 
them with a copper noose suspended from a long pole. 



n8 Guy and Pauline 



There was, too, that triumphant moment he had long 
desired, when Brydone, rising to take his leave, asked if Guy 
were coming and when he was able to reply casually that he 
was not coming just yet. 

After tea Guy and Pauline, as if by an impulse that 
occurred to both of them simultaneously, begged Margaret 
to come and talk in the nursery. She seemed pleased that 
they wanted her ; and the' three of them spent the time 
till dinner in looking at the old familiar things of childhood ; 
at photographs of Monica and Margaret and Pauline in 
short frocks ; at tattered volumes scrawled in by the fingers 
of little girls. 

" I wish I'd known you when you were small," sighed 
Guy. " How wasted all these years seem." 

The gong went suddenly, and Margaret said that of 
course to-night he would stay to dinner. 

So once again he was staying to dinner and now on such 
terms as would make this an occasion difficult to forget. As 
he waited alone in the lamplit nursery, while Margaret and 
Pauline were dressing, he kissed Pauline in each faded 
picture stuck in those gay scrap-books of Varese. Nor did 
he feel the least ashamed of himself, although at Oxford his 
cynicism had been the admiration even of Balliol, where 
there had been no one like him for tearing sentiment into 
dishonoured rags. When the Rector came in to dinner, 
carrying with him a dusty botanical folio that swept all the 
glass and silver from his end of the table to huddle in the 
centre, Guy tried to make out if he were very much depressed 
by his not having yet gone home. 

" Dear me," said the Rector. " I was sure I had seen it 
in here." 

" Seen what, Francis ? " asked his wife. 

" A plant you wouldn't know. A Cilician crocus." 

" Isn't Father sweet ? " said Pauline. " Because of 
course Mother never knows any plant." 



: 



Spring 119 



" What nonsense, Pauline. Of course I know a crocus." 

Toward the end of dinner Mrs. Grey said rather 
nervously : 

" Francis dear, wouldn't you like to drink Pauline's 
health ? " 

" Why, with pleasure," said the Rector. " Though she 
looks very well." 

Pauline jumped in her chair with delight at this, but 
Mrs. Grey waved her into silence and said : 

" And Guy's health too ? " 

The Rector courteously saluted him ; but the guest 
feared there was an undernote of irony in the bow. 

After dinner when Monica, Margaret and Pauline were 
preparing for a trio, Mrs. Grey said confidentially to % 
Guy : 

" You mustn't expect Francis the Rector to realize at 
once that you and Pauline are engaged. And of course it 
isn't exactly an engagement yet. You mustn't see her too 
often. You're both so young. Indeed, as Francis said, 
children really." 

Then the trio began, and Guy in the tall Caroline chair 
lived every note that Pauline played on her violin, demand- 
ing of himself what he had done to deserve her love. He 
looked round once at Mrs. Grey in the other chair, and 
marked her beating time while like his own her thoughts were 
all for Pauline. In the heart of that music Guy was able to 
say anything and he could not resist leaning over and 
whispering to Mrs. Grey : 

" I adore her." 

" So do I," said the mother, breaking not a bar in her 
beat and gazing with soft eyes at that beloved player. 

When the music stopped, Guy felt a little embarrassed by 
the remembrance of his unreserved avowal ; yet evidently 
it had seemed natural to Mrs. Grey, for when he was saying 
good-bye in the hall, she whispered to Pauline that she 



120 Guy and Pauline 

could walk with Guy a short way along the drive. His 
heart leapt to the knowledge that here at last was the final 
sanction of his love for her. Pauline flung round her 
shoulders that white frieze coat in which he had first beheld 
her under the moon, misty, autumnal, a dream within a 
dream ; and now they were actually walking together. He 
touched her arm half-timidly, as if even so light a gesture 
could destroy this moment. 

" Pauline, Pauline ! " 

He saw her clear eyes in the February starshine and 
folding her close he kissed her mouth. When he woke, 
he was at home ; and for hours he sat entranced, knowing 
that never again for as long as he lived would he feel upon 
his lips as now the freshness of Pauline's first kiss. 

The rest of that February went by with lengthening 
eves that died on the dusky riot of blackbirds in the 
rhododendrons. Here and there in mossy corners prim- 
roses were come too soon, seeming all aghast and wan to 
behold themselves out of the cloistral earth, while the 
buds of the daffodils were still upright and would not 
hang their heads till driven by the wooing of the windy 
March sun. 

The grey-eyed virginal month, that is of no season and 
must as often bear the malice of Winter's retreat as the 
ruffianly onset of Spring, had now that very seriousness 
which suited Guy's troth. 

Rules had been made with which neither he nor Pauline 
were discontented, and so through all that February Guy 
went twice a week to the Rectory and counted himself rich 
in Mrs. Grey's promise that he and Pauline should sometimes 
be allowed, when the season was full-fledged, to go for 
walks together. At present, however, the Rectory garden 
must be a territory large enough for their love. 

These first encounters were endowed with perhaps not 
much more than the excitement of what were in a way 



Spring 



121 



superficial observations, since neither of them was yet 
attempting to sound any deeps in the other's character. Guy 
was engaged with driving a wedge into that past of the 
Rectory whose least events he now envied, and he was never 
tired of the talks about Pauline's childhood, so much of a 
fairy-tale she still seemed and fit for endless repetition. And 
if Guy was never tired of being told, her family was never 
tired of telling. Never, he thought, was lover so fortunate 
in an audience as he in the willingness with which he was 
accorded a confirmation of all his praises. Sometimes, 
indeed, he had to look reproachfully at Monica or Mar- 
garet when Pauline seemed hurt at being checked for some 
piece of demonstrativeness. If he did so, the sisters would 
always take an opportunity to draw him aside and explain 
that it was only Pauline's perfection which made them so 
anxious for its security. Indeed they guarded her per- 
petually and with such a high sense of the privilege of 
wardship that Guy always had to forgive them at once. 
Moreover, he was so conscious of their magnanimity in 
considering him as a lover that he was almost afraid to 
claim his right. 

" Margaret," he said one day. " I don't know how you 
can bear to contemplate Pauline married. Why, when I 
think of myself, I'm simply dumb before the what word is 
there audacity is much too pale and, oh, what word is 
there ? " 

" I don't think I could contemplate her married to any- 
body but you," said Margaret. 

" But why me ? " 

" Why, because you are young enough to make love 
beautiful and right," Margaret told him. " And yet you 
seem old enough to realize Pauline's exquisite nature. So 
that one isn't afraid of her being squandered for a young 
man's experience." 

" But I'm not rich," said Guy, deliberately leading Mar- 




122 Guy and Pauline 

garet on to discuss for the hundredth time this topic of 
himself and Pauline. 

" Pauline wouldn't be happy with riches. They would 
oppress her. She isn't luxurious like me." 

So round and round, backward and forward, on and on 
the debate would go, until Margaret had arranged for Guy 
and Pauline a life so idyllic that Shelley would scarcely have 
found a flaw in her conception. 

Pauline, however demonstrative in the presence of her 
family, was still shy when she was alone with her lover. 
Her mirth was turned to a whisper, and her greatest elo- 
quence was a speech of drooping silences and of blushes 
rising and falling. Guy never tired of watching these 
flowery motions that were the response of her cheeks to his 
love. Each word he murmured was a wind to stir her 
countenance or ruffle her eyes, so that they too responded 
with cloudy deeps and shadows and sudden veilings. 

Nothing more was mentioned of the practical side of the 
engagement, for Mrs. Grey, Monica and Margaret were all 
too delightfully enthralled with the progress of an idyll that 
was to each of them her own secret poem of Pauline in love ; 
while as for the Rector he remained outwardly oblivious of 
the whole matter. 

March came crashing into this peace without disturbing 
the .simple pattern into which the existence of Guy and 
Pauline had now resolved itself a pattern, moreover, that 
belonged to Pauline's mother and sisters for their own 
pleasure in embroidery, so that the lovers were, as it might 
be, carried about from room to room. Sometimes indeed, 
when Guy came to the Rectory, there was a pretence of 
leaving him and Pauline alone ; but mostly they were in 
the company of the others, and Guy was now as deep in the 
family life as if he were a son of the house. Since he and 
Pauline never went for walks together, perhaps Wychford 
speculation had died down at any rate there was no 



Spring 123 



gossip to disturb Mrs. Grey ; although, as she had by now 
given up the theory of a sort of engagement, yet without 
consenting to anything in the shape of a final announce- 
ment, it might not have mattered much. 

Meanwhile, it began to dawn on Guy that the time was 
coming when he would have to make up his mind to do 
something definite, and on these bleak mornings of early 
March, as he watched the scanty snowflakes withering against 
the panes, he asked himself if there was any justification for 
staying on at Flashers Mead in the new circumstances of his 
life there. At night, however, when the wind piped and 
whistled round the house, he used to dream upon the fire- 
light and shrink from the idea of abandoning all that 
Flashers Mead had stood for and all that now still more 
it must stand for in the future. If only a plan could be 
devised by which the house were secured against sacrilege ; 
and half-fantastically he began to imagine a monastic 
academy for poets, of which he would be Warden. Perhaps 
Michael Fane would like this idea, and since he had money 
he might come forward with an offer of endowment. Then 
he and Pauline could be married ; for 150 a year would be 
an ample income, if there were no rent to pay and no wages. 
He of course would earn his living as superintendent of the 
academic discipline ; and really, as he dreamed over his 
plan, such an establishment would be an admirable corollary 
to Oxford. It might gain even a sort of official recognition 
from the University. Plainly some sort of institution 
was wanted where in these commercial days young writers 
could retreat to learn their craft less suicidally than by 
journalism. What should he call his academy ? With 
marriage as the reason for inventing this economy he could 
hardly give it too monastic a complexion. The louder the 
wind beat against the house, the more feasibly in the lamp- 
lit quiet within did the scheme present itself; and Michael 
Fane, who was always searching for an object in life, would 




124 Guy and Pauline 

be the very person to involve in the materialization. He 
would say nothing to anybody else ; not even would he 
mention the idea to Pauline herself. These sanguine dreams 
occupied his evenings prosperously enough, while March 
swept past with searing winds from Muscovy that skimmed 
the rich earth of the ploughlands with a dusty pallor, 
tarnished the daffodils and seemed to crack the very bird- 
song. Guy, however, with every day either a day nearer 
to seeing Pauline again or the day itself, did not care about 
the wind that blew, and he was as happy walking on the 
uplands as the spindleshanked hares that sported among 
the turfy mounds. 

Later, the shrilling wind from the East surrendered to 
the booming of the equinox. Louder than before the 
weather beat against Guy's house from the opposite quarter. 
Chimneys groaned like broken horns, and after a desperate 
gale even deaf Miss Peasey complained that she had heard 
the wind once or twice in the night and that her bedroom 
had seemed a bit draughty. Guy discovered that several 
tiles had been blown from the roof, so that through the 
lath and plaster above her head there was a sound of 
demoniac fife-playing. Then the wind dropped : the rain 
poured down : but at last on Lady Day morning Guy woke 
up to see a rich sky between white magnificent clouds, a 
gentle breeze, and a letter from his father. 



Fox HALL, 

GALTON, 

HANTS. 

P. ~ March 24. 

Dear Guy, 

I send you this with the third instalment of the ^150. 
Please let me have a 'prompter acknowledgement than last time 
when, I remember, you kept me waiting nearly three weeks. I 



Spring 125 



am glad, to have news of successful experiments in verse-making, 
but I should be much more glad to hear that you had made up 
your mind to make them as an accessory to a regular profession. 
Ton will notice that I do not attempt to influence your choice 
in this matter, and so I hope you will not retort with invidious 
comparisons between literature and the teaching of small boys. 

No, I do not remember a man called Grey in my time at 
Oxford, but I do remember a man of the same name as ours at 
Trinity. He came to grief, I believe, later on. You must 
assure your friend that this was not myself. I am glad you 
find the Rector and his wife such pleasant people. Have they 
any children ? I wish I could say as much for the new Vicar 
of Galton, who is a pompous nincompoop and has introduced a 
lot of this High Church frippery which so annoys some of the 
parents. Tour friend is lucky to be able to afford so much 
leisure for gardening. I am of course far too busy to think 
about anything like that except in the summer holidays, when 
flowers would scarcely give me the change of air I want. 
This year I hope to come and see you for a week or two, and 
we shall be able to discuss the future. Don't work too hard 
and please oblige me by acknowledging the enclosed cheque. 

Tour affectionate father 

John Hazlewood. 

Guy went out in the orchard to meditate upon the 
advisableness of telling his father at once about Pauline. 
If he were coming to stay here next August, he ought to 
know beforehand, for it would be horrid to have the atmo- 
sphere of Flashers Mead ruined by acrimonious argument. 
August, however, was still a long way off, and now there 
was going to be fine weather for a while, which must not 
be spoilt. Besides, perhaps in the end his father would not 
come, and anyway himself would be having to decide 
presently upon a more definite step. He would tell Pauline, 



i26 Guy and Pauline 

when he saw her to-morrow, that he ought to go up to 
London and get some journalistic work so as to bring the 
time of their marriage nearer. Or should he wait until 
he had sounded Michael about that academy ? Flashers 
Mead enlarged itself for Guy's vision until the orchard was 
a quadrangle framed with grey cloisters, along which 
Parnassian aspirants walked in meditation. Would any of 
them be married except himself and Pauline ? On the 
whole he decided that they would not, though of course, if 
Michael were to find the capital he must be allowed to 
marry. How the Balliol people would laugh at these 
fantastic plans, thought Guy, and he stopped for a moment 
from the architectonics of his academy to laugh at himself. 
Certainly it would be better not to publish his plans even 
to Pauline until they showed a hint of conceivable maturity. 
Guy fell back into the comfort of spacious dreams, wander- 
ing up and down the orchard ; and round about him the 
starlings pranked in metallic plumage of green and bronze 
quarrelled over the holes in the apple-trees they coveted 
for their nests. 

Suddenly Guy heard his name called and looking up he 
saw across the mill-stream Margaret and Pauline standing 
in the churchyard. 

" We've been to church," said Pauline. " And a dead 
bat fell down nearly on to Father's head when he was giving 
the Blessing. So he and the sacristan have gone up in the 
tower to see what can be done about it." 

" Shall I come and help ? " Guy suggested. 

" You won't be able to do any more than they will," said 
Margaret laughing. " But if you want to come and help, 
you'd better. Hasn't your canoe arrived yet ? " 

Guy shook his head. 

" It's such a glorious morning that I could almost swim 
the river," he declared. 

" Oh, Margaret, don't let him," Pauline exclaimed. 



Spring 127 



Guy said he would be in the churchyard before they were 
back in Rectory Lane to meet him, and with Bob barking 
at his heels he ran at full speed through the orchard, through 
the garden, over the bridge and down Rectory Lane just 
as the two girls reached the lych-gate. They all went into 
the big church, even Bob, though he slunk at their heels as 
modestly as might the Devil. High up over the chancel they 
could see the Rector and the shiny-pated sacristan leaning 
from the windows of the bell-ringers' chamber and scratch- 
ing with wands at some blind arches where bats might most 
improbably lurk. 

" Let's go to the top of the tower," Guy proposed. 

" Father isn't on the top of the tower," said Margaret. 
" But you go up with Pauline. I'll wait for you." 

So Guy and Pauline went through a low door beaked by 
Normans centuries ago, and climbed the stone stairs until 
they reached the bell-ringers' chamber where they paused to 
greet the Rector, who waved a vague arm in greeting. The 
stairs grew more narrow and musty as they went higher ; 
but all the way at intervals there were deep slits in the walls, 
framing thin pictures of the outspread country below the 
tower. Still up they went past the bell-ropes, past the 
great bells themselves that hung like a cluster of mighty 
fruit, until finally they came out through a small turret to 
meet the March sky. The spire, that rose as high again as 
they had already come, occupied nearly all the space and 
left only a yard of leaded roof on which to walk ; but 
even so, up here where the breeze blew strongly,- they 
seemed to stand in the very course of the clouds with the 
world at their feet. Northward they looked across the 
brown mill-stream ; across Guy's green orchard ; across 
the flashing tributary beyond ; across the meadows, to 
where the Shipcot road climbed the side of the wold. 
Westward they looked to Plashers Mead and Miss Peasey 
flapping a table-cloth ; to Guy's mazy garden and the grey 



128 Guy and Pauline 

wall under the limes ; and farther to the tree-tops of Wych- 
ford Abbey ; to the twining waters of the valley and the 
rounded hills. Southward they looked to Wychford town 
in tier on tier of shining roofs ; and above the translucent 
smoke to where the telegraph-poles of the long highway 
went rocketing into Gloucestershire. And lastly Eastward 
they looked through a flight of snowy pigeons to the Rectory 
asleep in gardens that already were painted with the simple 
flowers of Spring. 

Guy took Pauline's hand where it rested on the parapet. 

" Dearest, Spring is here," he said. " And this is our 
world that you and I are looking at to-day." 



April 



PAULINE in the happiness which had come to her 
lately had forgotten Miss Verney ; and when one 
morning she met that solitary spinster, whose pale 
and watery eyes were uttering such reproach, she promised 
impulsively to come to tea that very afternoon and bring 
with her a friend. 

" You've certainly quite deserted me lately," said Miss 
Verney in that wavering falsetto of hers through which the 
echoes maybe of a once admired soprano could still be 
distinctly heard. 

" Oh, but I've been so busy, Miss Verney." 

" Yes, I daresay. Well, I used to be busy once myself. 
Here's lovely weather for the first of April. Quite a treat 
to be out of doors. Now, don't make an April fool of your 
poor old Miss Verney by forgetting to come this afternoon. 
Who's the friend you are anxious to bring ? " 

" Mr. Hazlewood. He's living at Flashers Mead, you 
know." 

" Dear me, a gentleman ? Then he won't enjoy coming 
to see me." 

" But he will, Miss Verney, because he writes poetry, and 
you know you told me once that you used to write poetry." 

" Ah, well, dear me, that's a secret I should never have 
let out. Well, good-bye, my dear, and pray don't forget to 
come, for I shall be having cakes, you know." 

Miss Verney, whose unhappy love-affair in a dim past had 

been Pauline's cherished secret since the afternoon of her 

seventeenth birthday, bowed with much dignity ; and 

Pauline, lest she should offend her again, had to turn round 

i 129 



130 Guy and Pauline 

several times to smile and wave farewells before Miss Verney 
disappeared into the confectioner's shop. 

When she got home, Pauline asked her mother if she 
thought it mattered taking Guy to tea with Miss Verney. 

" Because, of course, she's sure to guess that we're 
engaged." 

" But, my dear child, you're not really engaged, at least 
not publicly. You must remember that." 

" But I could tell Miss Verney as a great secret. And I 
know she won't tell anyone because once she told me a great 
secret about herself. Besides, she's gone to buy cakes for 
tea, and if I don't take Guy she'll be so dreadfully dis- 
appointed." 

" Why can't you take Guy without saying anything about 
being engaged ? " asked Mrs. Grey. 

" Oh, because Miss Verney is so frightfully sharp, 
especially in matters of love. I think you don't like her 
much, Mother darling, but really, you know, she is sym- 
pathetic." 

Mrs. Grey looked hopelessly round for advice, but as 
neither Margaret nor Monica were in the room, she had to 
give way to Pauline's entreaty, and the leave was granted. 

When Guy arrived at the Rectory about three o'clock, he 
seemed delighted at the notion of going out to tea with 
Pauline, though he looked a little doubtfully at the others, 
as if he wondered at the permission's being accorded. How- 
ever, they set out in an atmosphere of good- will, and Pauline 
was happy to have him beside her walking up Wychford 
High Street. Miss Verney's house was at the very top of the 
hill, which meant that the eyes of the whole population had 
to be encountered before they reached it. They could see 
Miss Verney watching for them, as they walked across the 
slip of grass that with white posts and a festoon of white 
chains warded off general traffic. The moment they 
reached the gate, her head vanished from the window ; and 






Spring 1 3 1 



they had scarcely rung the bell, when the maid had opened 
the door. And they were scarcely inside the hall, when Miss 
Verney came grandly out of the drawing-room (which was 
not the front room) to greet them. 

" How d'ye do ? How d'ye do ? Miss Grey will have 
told you that I rarely have visitors. And therefore this is a 
great pleasure." 

Pauline threw sparkling blue glances at Guy for the Miss 
Grey, while they followed her into the drawing-room full 
of cats and ornaments. The cats all marched round Guy in 
a sort of solemn quadrille, so that what with the embarrass- 
ment they caused to his legs and the difficulty that the rest of 
him found with the ornaments, Pauline really had to lead 
him safely to a chair. 

" Have you been long in Wychford, Mr. Hazlewood ? " 
enquired Miss Verney. " I fear you'll find the valley very 
damp. We who live at the top of the hill consider the air 
up here so much more bracing. But then, you see, my 
father was a sailor." 

So the conversation progressed, conversation that was 
cut as thinly and nicely as the lozenges of bread and butter, 
fragments of which on various parts of the rug the cats 
were eating with that apparent difficulty cats always find in 
mastication. 

" I sadly spoil my pets," said Miss Verney. " For really, 
you see, they are my best friends, as I always say to people 
who look surprized at my indulgence of them. . . . Would 
you mind telling Bellerophon he's left a piece of butter just 
by your foot, that you might otherwise tread into the 
carpet. You'll forgive my fussiness, but then, you see, my 
father was a sailor." 

Pauline was longing to know what Miss Verney thought of 
Guy, and presently when tea was over she suggested that he 
should be shown the garden, the green oblong of which 
looked so inviting from the low windows. 



132 Guy and Pauline 



" Dear me, the garden," said Miss Verney. " Rather 
early in the year, don't you think, for the garden ? My shoes. 
For though my father was a sailor, I do not, alas, inherit his 
constitution. I really think, Pauline, we must wait for the 
garden. But perhaps Mr. Hazlewood would care ..." 

" Guy, you must see the garden," Pauline declared. 

So Guy rose and, having listened to Miss Verney's 
instructions about the key in the garden-door, went out 
followed by several cats. A moment later they saw him still 
with two cats in attendance bending with an appearance of 
profound interest over the narrow flower-beds that fringed 
the grass. 

" I declare that Pegasus and dear Bellerophon have taken 
quite a fancy to him. Most remarkable and gratifying," 
said Miss Verney, watching from the window through which 
the western sun flaming upon her thin hair kindled a few 
golden strands from the ashes that seemed before entirely 
to have quenched them. 

" Miss Verney, can you keep a secret ? " asked Pauline 
breathlessly. 

" My dear, you forget my father was a sailor," replied 
Miss Verney supporting with each arm a martial elbow. 

" He and I are engaged," Pauline whispered through 
a blush. 

" Pauline, you amaze me," the old maid exclaimed. " My 
dear child, I hope you'll let me wish you happiness." She 
came to Pauline and kissed with cold lips her cheek. " You 
have always been so kind and considerate to me. Yes, I am 
sure, without irreverence I can say you have been to me as 
welcome as the sun. I pray that you will always be happy. 
Ah, the dear fellow," exclaimed Miss Verney, looking with 
the utmost affection to where Guy was now completing 
the circuit of her borders. " The dear fellow, how droll he 
must have thought it when I referred to you as Miss Grey. 
Though to this flinging about of Christian names without 



her 



Spring 133 



regard for the sacredness of real intimacy, which is so 
common nowadays, I shall never submit." 

Miss Verney tapped upon the window to summon Guy 
within again. When he was back in the drawing-room, she 
fluttered toward him and took his hand. 

" My dear Mr. Hazlewood, for my father having been 
a sailor I must always be rather blunter than most people, 
I have to congratulate you. This dear child ! My greatest 
friend in Wychford, and indeed really, so scattered now are 
all the people I have known, I might almost say, my greatest 
friend anywhere ! You are a most enviable young man. But 
the secret is safe with me. No one shall know." 

" I had to tell Miss Verney," Pauline explained. 

" I'm delighted for Miss Verney to know," said Guy. 
" I only wish the time were come when everybody could 
know." 

Miss Verney was in a state of the greatest excitement, and 
made so many references to her nautical paternity that 
Pauline half expected her to hitch up her skirt and dance 
a triumphant hornpipe in the middle of the cats' slow 
waltzing. 

" This dear child," Miss Verney went on, clasping 
rapturous hands. " I have known her since she was twelve. 
The dearest little thing ! I really wish you had known her ; 
you would have fallen in love with her then, I do declare." 
And Miss Verney laughed in a high treble at her joke. 
" Lately I have been rather worried because I had an idea 
I was being deserted. But now I understand the reason. 
Oh, the secret is perfectly safe. In me you have a true 
sympathizer. Pauline will tell you that with the people she 
loves, there is no one so sympathetic as I am." Suddenly 
Miss Verney stopped and looked very suspicious. " You're 
not making an April fool of me ? " she asked. 

" Miss Verney ! " Pauline gasped. " How could you think 
I would joke about love ? " 



134 Guy and Pauline 

The old maid's forehead cleared. 

" Of course you wouldn't, my dear, but really this 
morning I have been so pestered by some of the boys ring- 
ing the bell and saying my chimney is on fire that ... ah, 
but, I am ashamed of myself. You must forgive me, 
Pauline. And is it not the thing to drink the health of 
lovers ? There is a bottle of sherry, I feel sure. I brought 
several bottles that were left from my father's cellar, when 
I first came to Wychford eight years ago, and they have not 
all been drunk yet." 

She rang the bell, and when the maid came in said : 

" Mabel, if you take my keys and open the store-cupboard, 
you will find some bottles of wine on the top shelf. Pray 
open one, and having carefully decanted it, bring it as 
carefully in with three glasses on the silver tray." 

Mabel naturally looked very much astonished at this 
order, and while she was gone Miss Verney thought one 
after another of all the reasons that Mabel could possibly 
ascribe to her request for wine. 

" But she will never guess the real one," said Miss Verney. 

The wine was brought in and poured out. Miss Verney 
coughed a great deal over her glass, and two small pink spots 
appeared on her cheeks. 

" I am sure," she said, " that when my dear father 
brought this wine back from Portugal, he would have been 
happy to know that some of it would be drunk to the health 
of two young people in love. For he was, if I may say so 
without impropriety, a great lady's man." 

Pauline and Guy drank Miss Verney's health in turn and 
thanked her for the good omens she had wished for their 
love. 

" My dear Pauline," said Miss Verney. " Do you think ? 
I wonder if I dare. You know what I mean ? Do you 
think I could show it to Mr. Hazlewood ? " 

" Do you mean the miniature ? " whispered Pauline. 



Spring 135 

Miss Verney nodded. 

" Oh, do, Miss Verney, do ! Guy would so appreciate it," 
Pauline declared. 

The old maid went to her bureau and from a small locked 
drawer took out a leather case which she handed to Guy. 

" The spring is broken. It opens very easily," she said 
in a gentle voice. 

Pauline forgot her shyness of Guy and leant over his 
shoulder, while he looked at the picture of a young man 
rosy with that too blooming youth which miniatures always 
portray. 

" We were engaged to be married," said Miss Verney. 
" But circumstances alter cases ; and we were never 
married." 

Pauline looked down at Guy with tears in her eyes and 
felt miserable to be so happy when poor Miss Verney had 
been so sad. 

" Thank you very much for showing me that," said 
Guy. 

Soon it was time to say good-bye to Miss Verney and, 
having made many promises to come quickly again, they 
left her and went down the steep High Street, where in 
many of the windows of the houses there were hyacinths 
and on the old walls plum-trees in bloom. 

" Pauline," said Guy. " Let's go for a walk to-morrow 
morning and see if the gorse is in bloom on Wychford down. 
There are so many things I want to tell you." 

" Do you think Mother will let us ? " 

" If we can go to tea with Miss Verney," said Guy, " we 
shall be able to go for a walk. And I never see you alone in 
the Rectory." 

" I'll ask Mother," said Pauline. 

" You want to come ? " 

" Of course. Of course." 

" You see," said Guy. " It's one of the places where I 



136 Guy and Pauline 

nearly told you I loved you. And it wouldn't be fair not to 
tell you there, as soon as I can." 

In the Rectory everybody was anxious to know how Guy 
liked Pauline's Miss Verney. 

" Margaret, you are really unkind to laugh at her," 
protested Pauline. " Guy understands, if you don't, how 
frightfully sympathetic she is. She is one of the people who 
really understands about being in love." 

Margaret laughed. 

" Don't I ? " she said. 

" No, indeed, Margaret, sometimes I don't think yoi 
do," said Pauline. 

" Nor I ? " asked Monica. 

" You don't at all ! " Pauline declared. 

" Well, if it means being like Miss Verney, I hope I never 
shall," said Monica. 

" Now, children, children," interrupted Mrs. Grey. 
" You must not be cross with one another." 

" Well, Mother, Margaret and Monica are not to laugh at 
Miss Verney," Pauline insisted. " And to-morrow Guy and 
I want as a great exception to go for a walk to Wychford 
down. May we ? " 

" Well, as a great exception, yes," said Mrs. Grey ; and 
Guy with apparently an access of grateful industry said he 
must go home and work. 

Pauline wondered what Guy would have to tell her to- 
morrow, and she fell asleep that night, hoping she would 
not be shy to-morrow ; for, since Guy was still no more to 
Pauline than the personification of a vague and happy love 
just as Miss Verney's miniature was the personification of 
one that was not happy, she always was a little alarmed 
when the personification became real. 

Wychford down seemed to rest on billowy clouds next 
morning, so light was Pauline's heart, so light was the earth 
on which she walked ; and when Guy kissed her the larks in 



Spring 137 

their blue world were not far away, so near did she soar upon 
his kiss to the rays of their glittering plumes. 

" Every time I see you," said Guy, " the world seems to 
offer itself to us more completely. I never kissed you 
before under the sky like this." 

She wished he would not say the actual word, for it made 
her realize herself in his arms, and brought back in a flood 
all her shyness. 

" I think it's dry enough to sit on this stone," said Guy. 

So they sat on one of the outcrops of Wychford freestone 
that all around were thrusting themselves up from the grass 
like old grey animals. 

" Now tell me more about Miss Verney," he went on. 
" Why was her love-affair unhappy ? " 

" Oh, she never told me much," said Pauline. 

" You and I haven't very long," said Guy. " Love 
travels by so fast. You and I mustn't have secrets." 

" I haven't any secrets," said Pauline. " I had one about 
Richard, but you know about him. And that was Margaret's 
secret really. Why do you say that, Guy ? " 

" I was thinking of myself," he answered. " I was think- 
ing how little you know about me really not much more 
than you know of Miss Verney's miniature." 

" Guy, how strange," she said. " Last night I thought 
that." 

Then he began to talk in halting sentences, turned away 
from her all the time and digging his stick deep down in the 
turf, while Bob looked on with anxious curiosity for what 
these excavations would produce. 

" Pauline, I so adore you that it clouds everything to 
realize that before I loved you, I should have had love- 
affairs with other girls. Of course they meant nothing, but 
now they make me miserable. Shall I tell you about them 
or shall I ... can I blot them for ever out of my mind ? " 

" Oh, don't tell me about them, don't tell me about. 




138 Guy and Pauline 

them," Pauline murmured in a low hurried voice. She felt 
that if Guy said another word she would run from him in 
a wild terror that would never let her rest, that would urge 
her out over the down's edge in desperate descent. 

" I don't want to tell you about them," said Guy. " But, 
they've stood so at the back of my thoughts whenever I 
have been with you ; and yesterday at Miss Verney's, I had 
a sense of guilt as if I were responsible in some way for her 
unhappiness. I had to tell you, Pauline." 

She sat silent under the song of the larks that in streams 
of melodious light poured through their wings. 
" Why do you say nothing ? " he asked. 
" Oh, don't let's talk about it any more. Promise me 
never to talk about it. Oh, Guy, why c of course ' ? Why 
* of course ' ? " 

" Of course ? " he repeated. 

" ' Of course they meant nothing.' That seems so 
dreadful to me. Perhaps you won't understand." 

" Dear Pauline, isn't that * of course ' the reason they 
torment me ? " he said. " It isn't kind of you to assume 
anything else." 

She forgave him in that instant ; and before she knew 
what she had done had put her hand impulsively on his. 
To the Pauline who made that gesture he was no more the 
unapproachable lover but someone whom she had wounded 
involuntarily. 

" My heart of hearts, my adored Pauline." 
With a sigh she faded to him : with a sigh the dog sat 
down by his master's neglected stick : with a sigh the April 
wind stole through the thickets of gorse and out over the 
down. And always more and more dauntlessly the larks 
flung before them their fountainous notes to pierce those 
blue spaces that burned between the clouds. No more was 
said of the past that morning, and with April come they were 
happy sitting up there, although, as Guy said, such weather 



Spring 1 39 



could hardly be expected to last. And since this walk was 
a great exception to the rule of their life, they were back at 
the Rectory very punctually, so that by propitiating every- 
body with good behaviour they might soon demand another 
exception. 

That night there recurred to Pauline when she was in her 
room a sudden memory of what Guy had said to her about 
girls with whom he had had love-affairs ; and with the 
stark forms of shadows they made a procession across her 
walls in the candlelight. She wished now she had let Guy 
tell her more, so that she could give distinguishing linea- 
ments of humanity to each of these maddening figures. 
What were they like and why, taken unaware, was she set on 
fire with rage to know them ? For a long while Pauline 
tossed sleeplessly on that bed to which usually morning 
came so soon ; and even when the candle was put out, she 
seemed to feel these forms of Guy's confession all about her. 
To-morrow she must see him again ; she could no longer 
bear to think of him alone. These shapes that from his 
past vaguely jeered at her were to him endowed, each, with 
what memories. Oh, she could cry out with exasperation 
even in this silent house where she had lived so long unvexed. 

" What is happening to me ? What is happening to 
me ? " asked Pauline, as the darkness drew nearer to her. 
" Why doesn't Margaret come ? " 

She jumped out of bed and ran trembling to her sister's 
room. 

" Pauline, what is it ? " asked Margaret starting up. 

" I'm frightened, Margaret. I'm frightened. My room 
seemed full of people." 

" You goose. What people ? " 

" Oh, Margaret, I do love you." 

She kissed her sister passionately ; and Margaret, who 
was usually so lazy, got out of bed and came back with her 
to her room ; where she read aloud Alice in Wonderland, 




140 Guy and Pauline 

sitting by the bed with her dark hair fallen about her slim 
shoulders. 

In the morning the impression of the night's alarm 
remained sharply enough with Pauline to make her anxious 
to see Guy, without waiting for the ordained interval to 
which they should submit ; and all that day, when he did 
not come, for the first time she felt definitely the clamorous 
and persistent desire for his company, the absence of which 
the old perfection of her home was no longer able to 
counteract. For the first time in her life the Rectory had 
a sort of emptiness ; and there was not a room on this 
tediously beautiful day, nor any nook in the garden, which 
could calm her with the familiar assurance of home. When 
the time for music came round, that night, it seemed 
to Pauline not at all worth while to play quartets in celebra- 
tion of a day that had been so barren of events. 

" Don't you want to play ? " they asked her in surprize. 

" Why should we play ? " she countered. " But I'll 
listen to you, if you like." 

Of course she was persuaded into taking her part, and 
never had she been so often out of tune and never had her 
strings snapped so continuously. Always until to-night the 
performance of music had brought to her the peaceful 
irresponsibleness of being herself in a pattern : now this 
sense of design was irritating her with an arduous repression, 
until at last she put down her violin and refused to play 
any more. Pauline felt that the others knew the cause of 
her ill-temper, but none of them said anything about Guy 
and, with her for audience in one of the Caroline chairs, 
they played trios instead. 

Next day when Guy did come, it was wet ; and Pauline 
wished Margaret would leave them together, so that they 
could talk : but Margaret stayed all the afternoon in the 
nursery, and Pauline made up her mind that somehow she 
must go for another walk with Guy. 



Spring 141 



She found her mother alone in the drawing-room before 
dinner. 

" Mother, don't you think, Guy and I might go for a 
walk to-morrow ? " 

" Oh, Pauline, you only went for a walk together the day 
before yesterday. And you really must remember you're 
not engaged. The Wychford people will gossip so, and that 
will make your father angry." 

" Well, why can't we be engaged openly ? " 

" No, not yet. Now, please don't ask me. Pauline, I beg 
you will say no more about it." 

" Then I can go to-morrow," said Pauline. " Oh, 
Mother, you are so sweet to me." 

Mrs. Grey looked rather perplexed and as if she were 
vainly trying to determine what she had said to make 
Pauline suppose that leave for walks had been given. How- 
ever, she evidently supposed it had ; and when next Guy 
came to the Rectory, Pauline whispered to him they could 
go for a walk if they did not have to go through Wychford. 
She could not understand herself when she found it so 
difficult to tell Guy this delightful news, for it was she 
who had managed it ; and yet here she was blushing in the 
revelation. 

The fact that Wychford was out of bounds really made 
their walk more magical, for Pauline and Guy went past 
the lily-pond and the lawn in front of the house and slipped 
through the little wicket in the high grey wall, as it were, in 
the very eye of the nursery-window. They dallied for 
a while in the paddock, peering for fritillary buds ; then 
they crossed the rickety bridge to the water-meadows, a 
territory not spied upon, silver-rosed with lady-smocks. 
To-day they would visit the peninsula where under the 
moon they first had met. 

Pauline, as they walked over the meads, no longer had 
the desire to ask Guy more about his tale of old loves. His 




142 Guy and Pauline 

presence beside her had rested her fears ; and she made up 
her mind that the disquiet of the other evening had been 
mere fatigue after the excitement of the day. This 
secluded world from which they were now approaching the 
even greater seclusion of their peninsula gave itself all to 
her and Guy. 

" How often have I been here without you," said Guy. 
" How often have I wished you were beside me, and now 
you are beside me." 

They were standing in a wreath of snowy blackthorn, 
that almost veiled even the narrow entrance to this demesne 
they held in fief of April. 

" What did you think about me that night we met ? 
Guy asked. 

And for perhaps the hundredth time she whispered how 
she had liked him very much. 

" Why don't you ask me what I thought about you ? " 

" What did you ? " she whispered again. 

" I went to sleep thinking of you," he said. " I did not 
know your name. I loved you then, I think. Pauline, 
when next September comes, we'll pick mushrooms 
together, shall we ? And I shall never gather any mush- 
rooms, because I shall always be gathering your hands. 
And the September afterward. Pauline ! Shall we be 
married ? Pauline Hazlewood ! Say that." 

She shook her head. 

" Whisper it." 

But she could not, and yet in her heart the foolish names 
were singing together. 

" How can I leave you ? " Guy demanded. 

" Leave me ? " she echoed. 

" I ought. I ought. You see, if I don't, I shall never 
persuade my father that we must be married next year. I 
must go to London and show that I'm in earnest." 

" But when will you go ? " said Pauline in deep dismay. 






Spring 143 



" Is your voice sad ? " he asked. " Pauline, don't you 
want me to go ? " 

" Of course I don't," she replied, turning up to his a face 
so miserable that he held her to him and vowed he would 
not go. 

" My dearest, I only thought it was my duty, but if you 
will believe in me, then let me stay in Wychford. After all, 
you are young. I am young. Why, you won't be twenty 
till May morning. And I shan't be twenty-three till next 
August. Even if we wait three years to be married, we 
shall be always together, and it won't seem so long." 

So with her arm in his Pauline walked on through the 
lady-smocks, thinking that never had anyone a lover so 
wonderful as this long-legged lover beside her. 

Holy Week was at hand, and in the variety of functions 
that Monica insisted her father should hold and her family 
attend Pauline saw little of Guy, although he came very 
often to church, sitting as stiff and awkward, she thought, 
as a brass knight on a tomb. However, it pleased her 
greatly Guy should come to church, since it pleased her 
family. Yet that was least of all the true reason, and 
Pauline used to send the angels that came to visit her down 
through the church to visit Guy ; her simple faith glowed 
with richer illumination when she thought of him in 
church, and while her mother and Monica tried to pull the 
Wychford choir through the notation of Solesmes, and 
while Margaret knelt apart in carved abstraction, Pauline 
prayed that Guy would all his life wish to keep Holy Week 
with her like this. 

Pauline hurried through a shower to church on Easter 
Morning, and shook mingled tears and raindrops from 
herself when she saw that Guy was come to Communion. 
So then that angel had travelled from her bedside last 
night to hover over Guy and bid him wake early next 
morning, because it was Easter Day. With never so holy a 



144 Guy and Pauline 



lancel 



calm had she knelt in the jewelled shadows of that chancel 
or retired from the altar to find her pew imparadised. 
When the people came out of church the sun was shining, 
and on the trees and on the tombstones a multitude of 
birds were singing. Never had Pauline felt the spirit of 
Eastertide uplift her with such a joy, joy for her lover 
beside her, joy for Summer close at hand, joy for all the joy 
that Easter could bring to the soul. 

There were Easter eggs at breakfast dyed yellow, blue 
and purple. There were new white trumpet daffodils for 
the Rector to gaze at. There was satisfaction for Monica 
in having defeated for ever Anglican chants, and for 
Margaret a letter from Richard, though, to be sure, she did 
not seem so glad of this as Pauline would have wished. 
There was all that happy scene and a new quartet for her 
mother ; and for Guy and herself there was a long walk 
this afternoon to wherever they wanted to go. 

At the beginning of the week Monica and Margaret went 
away on a visit, to which they set out with the usual 
lamentations now redoubled because they suddenly realized 
it was universal holiday time. With her two eldest daughters 
away from the Rectory, Mrs. Grey was no match for 
Pauline ; so she and Guy had a week of freedom, wandering 
over the country where they willed. 

Wychford down saw them, and the water-meadows of the 
western valley. The road to Fairfield knew their footsteps, 
and they even went to tea with Mr. and Mrs. Ford, who 
talked of Richard out in India and bemoaned the inferiority 
of their garden to the Rector's. They wandered by treeless 
roads that led to the hills, and to the grassy solitudes that 
seemed made to be walked over hand in hand. Once they 
went as far as the forest of Wych, a wild woodland that lay 
remote from any village and where along the glades myriads 
of primroses stared at them. Yet, though that day had 
seemed to Pauline almost more delicately fair than any of 



Spring 145 



their days, it ended dismally with. April in black mis- 
feature, and before they reached home they were wet 
through. 

By ill luck her mother met her just as she was hurrying 
up to her room. 

" Pauline," she said with a good deal of agitation. " I 
must forbid these walks with Guy every day. Wet to the 
skin ! Oh dear, how careless of him to take you so far. 
You must be reasonable and unselfish. It's so difficult for 
me. Father asked where you were this afternoon, and I 
had to pretend to be deaf. He notices more than you 
think. Now really Guy must not come for a week, and 
there must be no more walks." 

Guy however came the next afternoon, and not only 
was he reproved by Mrs. Grey for yesterday's disaster, but 
actually he and Pauline were only allowed a quarter of an 
hour together in the garden. 

" I'll go into Oxford for a week," said Guy with inspira- 
tion. " And then we shan't be tempted to see each other 
this week, and if we don't see each other this week, perhaps 
next week we shall be able to go out again. Besides, I want 
to make arrangements about bringing the canoe down, 
My friend Fane has wired to me to go and stay with him. 
He's up for the Easter vac, working. Shall I go ? " 

Pauline wanted to say no, but she was even after all these 
walks still too shy to bid him stay. 

" Perhaps you'd better go," she agreed. " But Guy, 
come back for my birthday." 

" As if I should stay away for that ! Pauline, will you 
write to me ? At least in letters you won't be shy to say 
you love me." 

" Oh, no, Guy, no. My writing is so horrid." 

"But you must write. Pauline, if you want to know 
why I'm really going away, it's simply to have a letter from 
you." 



146 Guy and Pauline 






;< You must write to me first then," she whispered. 
In truth Pauline felt terrified to think how she would 
even begin a letter to Guy. He would cease to love her 
any more after she had written to him. He would hate her 
stupid letters. 

" I shall be glad to see Michael again," said Guy. " But 
I suppose I must not say anything about you. No, I won't 
talk about you. Oxford will be wonderfully quiet without 
undergraduates, and I shall have letters from you." 
Mrs. Grey came out into the garden. 
" Now, Guy, I think you ought to go. Because really 
the Rector is getting worried about you and Pauline." 
" Pm going into Oxford, Mrs. Grey." 
" Well, that is a charming idea charming, yes." 
" But Pll be back for Pauline's birthday." 
" Charming charming," Mrs. Grey still declared. " The 
Rector will have forgotten all about it by then." 

So Guy left Pauline for a week, and perhaps for more 
than a week. Margaret and Monica came home next day, 
and really, she thought, it was upsetting all the old ways of 
her life, when she found herself not very much interested 
in what they had been doing. Miss Verney with her 
ecstatic praise of Guy was better company ; but next 
morning her first love-letter arrived, and she could not 
resist peeping into it at breakfast. 

99 ST. GILES 

OXFORD 

April 1 8. 
My adored Pauline, 

It's really all I can do to stay in Oxford. Even Fane 
seems dull and though his rooms are jolly, I long for you. 

Have I told you what you are to me ? Have I once been 
able to tell you. . . . 



Spring 147 



Ah, there were pages crammed full and full of words 
that she must read alone. She could not read them here 
with her mother and sisters looking at her over the table. 
She must read them high in her white fastness at the top of 
the house. There all the morning she sat, and when she 
had read of his love once, she read of it again and then 
again, and once again. How foolish her answering letter 
would be : how disappointed Guy would be ; but since 
she had promised, she must write to him : and, sitting at 
her desk that was full of childish things, she curled herself 
over the note paper. 



May 



A PEASANT company of thoughts travelled with 
Guy and his bicycle on the road to Oxford. In 
this easy progress the material hindrances to 
marriage were not seeming very important, and as he 
thought of his love for Pauline it spread before him, un- 
troublous like the road down which he was spinning before 
a light breeze. With so much to compensate for their 
brief parting it was impossible to feel depressed ; and as 
Guy drew near the city he felt he was an undergraduate 
again ; and when he greeted Michael Fane in St. Giles he 
could positively hear his own Oxford drawl again. It was 
really delightful to be sitting here in view of his old college ; 
and when after lunch he and Michael started for Wytham 
woods, more and more Guy was in an Oxford dream and 
carrying off the fantastic notion of the Parnassian academy 
with all the debonair confidence of his second year. Yet 
Guy knew that the scheme was absurd and when Michael 
argued against it in his solemn way he found himself taking 
the other side from a mere undergraduate pleasure in 
argument. Indeed, Michael declared he had become a 
freshman since he went down, which made Guy stop dead, 
ankle-deep in kingcups, and laugh aloud for his youth, 
with hidden thoughts of Pauline to make him rejoice that 
he was young. He laughed again at Michael's seriousness 
and flung his scheme to the broad clouds, for on this 
generous day he and Pauline were enough, and neither 
anybody else's opinion nor anybody else's help was worth 
a second thought. The heartening warmth, however, did 
not last ; and when toward evening the sun faded in a 

148 



Spring 149 



blanche of watery clouds with a cold wind for aftermath, 
Guy felt Michael might have beenmoresympathetic. Rather 
silently they walked back from Godstow, with Pauline 
between them ; so that after all, Guy thought, Michael 
was still an undergraduate, whereas he had embarked upon life . 

That night, however, when the curtains were drawn 
across Michael's bay-window that overhung the whispering 
and ancient thoroughfare ; when the fire burned high and 
the tobacco-smoke clouded the glimmer of the books on 
the walls ; when his chair creaked with that old Oxford 
creaking, Guy forgave Michael for any lack in his reception 
of the great plan. After all, he was writing to Pauline, 
while his host was reading the Constitutional History of 
England at a table littered with heavy volumes, on which 
he brooded like a melancholy spectator of ruins. He must 
not be hard on Michael, who had not yet touched life, when 
for himself the vision of Pauline was wreathing this old room 
with starry blooms of wild rose. The letter was finished, 
and Guy went out to drop it in the pillar-box. His old 
college brooded at him across the road ; to-morrow he must 
go and look up some of the dons ; to-morrow Pauline would 
get his letter ; to-night there would be rain ; to-morrow 
Pauline would get his letter ! The envelope, as it shuffled 
down into the letter-box, seemed to say ' yes '. 

When Guy was back in the fumy St. Giles room, he 
decided there was something rather finely ascetic about 
Michael seated there and reading imperturbably in the 
lamp-light. His courteously fatigued manner was merely 
that of the idealist who had overreached himself ; there was 
nothing bilious about him, not even so much cynicism as 
had slightly chilled Guy's own career at Oxford ; rather did 
there emanate from Michael a kind of mediaeval steadfast- 
ness comparable only to those stone faces that look calmly 
down upon the transitory congregations of their church. 
Michael had this solemn presence that demanded an upward 



150 Guy and Pauline 

look, and once again an upward look, until without con- 
versation the solemnity became a little disquieting. Guy 
felt bound to interrupt with light-hearted talk of his own 
that slow still gaze across the lampshine. 

"Dash it,Michael, don't brood there like a Memento Mori. 
Put away Magna Charta and talk to me. You used to talk." 

" Tou talk, Guy. You've been living alone all this time. 
You must have a great deal to say." 

So Guy flung theories of rhyme and metre to overwhelm 
Magna Charta ; and, next day, he and Michael walked all 
over Oxford in the rain, he himself still talking. The day 
after, there came with the sun a letter from Pauline which 
he took away with him to read in the garden of St. John's, 
leaving Michael to Magna Charta. 

There was nobody on the lawn, and Guy sat down on 
a wooden seat in air that was faintly perfumed by the 
precocious blooms of a lilac breaking to this unusual warmth 
of April. Unopened the letter rested in his hand : for his 
name written in this girlish charactery took on the romantic 
look of a name in an old tale. A breathlessness was in the air, 
such as had brooded upon Pauline's first kiss ; and Guy sat 
marmoreal and rapt in an ecstasy of anticipation that he 
would never have from any other letter ; so still he was, 
that an alighting blackbird slipt over the grass almost to his 
feet before it realized the mistake and shrilled away on 
startled wings into the bushes behind. The trance of 
expectation was spoilt, and Guy with a sigh broke the 
envelope. 

WYCHFORD RECTORY 
OXON. 

Wednesday. 

I am writing to you at my desk. I began this morning 
but it was time to go out when I began. Now it's after tea. 
Margaret came in just now and said I looked all crinkled up 






Spring 1 5 r 



like a shell : it's because I simply don't know how to write 
to you. I have read your letter over and over and over again. 
I never thought there could be such a wonderful letter in the 
world. But I feel very sorry for poor Richard who can't write 
letters as exquisite as yours. I really feel miserable about 
him. And this letter to you makes me feel miserable because 
I can't write letters even as well as Richard. Mother was 
glad you thought of going to Oxford because she says we are a 
great responsibility to her. Isn't she sweet? She really 
is you know. So I talked to Father myself very seriously. 
I explained to him that I was quite old enough to know my own 
mind, and he listened to all the things I told him about you. 
He said he supposed it was innevvitable, which looks very 
funny somehow. Are you laughing at my spelling ? And then 
he said it was nothing to do with him. So of course I rushed 
off to Mother and told her and when you come back we are to be 
allowed to go out twice a week and in three more months we can 
be engaged properly. Are you happy ? Only, dear Guy, 
Mother doesn't want you to come back till my birthday. She 
thinks the idea of you and me will be better when Father has 
got an Iris Lorti or some name like that. He has never had a 
flower of it before and he's so excited about it's coming out just 
when my birthday is. Every day he goes down and pinches 
the stalk of it. He says it's the loveliest flower in the world 
and grows on Mount Lebanon. So if it comes out on my birth- 
day, you and I can certainly be engaged in August. Guy, I do 
hate my handwriting. 

Tour loving 

Pauline. 

It was a letter of gloriously good news, thought Guy, 
though he was a little disappointed not to have had the 
thrill of Pauline's endearment. Then, on the blank outside 
page, he saw scrawled in writing that went tumbling head 



152 Guy and Pauline 

over heels down the paper : My darling Guy, I love you and 
underneath I have kissed the letter for you. 

The sentence died out in faint ink that seemed to show 
forth the whisper in which it had been written. For Guy 
the tumbledown letters were written in fire ; and with the 
treasure in his heart of that small sentence, read a hundred 
times, he did not know how he should endure ten long days 
without Pauline, and in this old college garden, on this 
sedate and academic lawn, he cried out that he adored her 
as if indeed she were beside him in this laylocked air. At 
the sound of his voice the birds close at hand were all 
silent : they might have stopped to listen. Then a green- 
finch called * sweet ! sweet ! ', whose gentle and persistent 
proclamation was presently echoed by all the other birds 
twittering together again in the confused raptures of their 
Spring. 

The days with Michael at St. Giles went by slowly 
enough, and their fairness was a wasted boon. Guy wrote 
many long letters to Pauline and received from her another 
letter in which she began with * My dearest ' as he had 
begged her. Yet when he read the herald vocative, he 
wished he had not tried to alter that old abrupt opening, 
for never again would she write in the faint ink of shy- 
ness such a sentence as had tumbled down the back of her 
first letter. 

Michael seemed to divine that he was in love, and Guy 
wondered why he could not tell him about it. Once or 
twice he nearly brought himself to the point, but the 
thought of describing Pauline kept him mute : Michael 
must see her first. The canoe would be ready at the end 
of the week, and Guy announced he should paddle it up to 
Wychford, travelling from the Isis to the upper Thames 
and from the upper Thames turning aside at Oldbridge to 
follow the romantic course of the Greenrush even to his 
own windows. 



Spring 153 



" Rather fun," said Michael. " If the weather stays all 
right." 

" By Jove," Guy exclaimed, " I believe it was at Old- 
bridge Inn that I first met you." 

" On May Day three years ago," Michael agreed. 

And, thought Guy with a compassionate feeling for mere 
friendship, what a much more wonderful May Day should 
be this when Pauline was twenty. There was now her 
birthday present to buy, and Guy set out on the quest of 
it with as much exaltation as Percival may have sought the 
Holy Grail. He wished it were a ring he could buy for 
her ; and indeed ultimately he could not resist a crystal 
set on a thin gold circlet that she, his rose of girls, would 
wear like a dewdrop. This ring, however, could not be his 
formal gift, but it would have to be offered when they were 
alone, and it must be worn nowhere but in the secret 
country they haunted with their love. The ring, uncostly 
as it was, took nearly all Guy's spare money, and he decided 
to buy a book for her, because in Oxford bookshops he still 
had accounts running. The April afternoon wore away 
"while in his own particular bookshop kept by Mr. Brough, 
an ancient man with a white beard, he took down from the 
shelves volume after volume. At last he found a small 
copy of Blake's Lyrics bound in faded apple-green calf and 
tooled in a golden design of birds, berries and daisies. This 
must be for Pauline, he decided, since someone must have 
known the pattern of that nursery wall-paper and, loving it, 
have wished it to be recorded more endurably. What 
more exquisite coincidence could assure him that this book 
was meant for Pauline ? Yet he was half-jealous of the 
unknown designer who had thought of something of which 
himself might have thought. Oh, yes, this must be for 
Pauline ; and, as Guy rescued it from the dust and darkness 
of the old shop, he ascribed to the green volume an emotion 
of relief and was half-aware of promising to it a new and 



154 Guy and Pauline 



dearer owner who with cherishing would atone for what- 
ever misfortune had brought it to these gloomy shelves. 

Next morning, when Guy was ready to start, Michael 
presented him with a glazier's diamond pencil. 

" When you fall in love, Guy, this will serve to scribble 
sonnets to your lady on the lattices of Flashers Mead. I 
shall probably come there myself when term's over." 

" I wish you'd come and live there with me," said Guy in 
a last effort to persuade Michael. " You see, if you shared 
the house, it wouldn't cost so much." 

" Perhaps I will," said Michael. " Who knows ? I 
wonder what your Rectory people would think of me." 

" Oh, Pauline would like you. Pauline's the youngest, 
you know," added Guy. " And I'm pretty certain you'd 
like Monica." 

Michael laughed. 

" Really, Guy, I must tell them in Balliol that, since you 
went down, you've become an idle matchmaker. Good- 
bye." 

" Good-bye. You're sure you won't mind the fag of 
forwarding my bicycle ? I'll send you a postcard from Old- 
bridge." 

Guy, although there was still more than a week before 
he would see Pauline, felt, as he hurried towards the boat- 
builder's moorings, that he would see her within an hour, 
such airy freedom did the realization of being on his way 
give to his limbs. 

The journey to Wychford seemed effortless, for whatever 
the arduousness of a course steadily upstream, it was nulli- 
fied by the knowledge that every time the paddle was 
dipped into the water it brought him by his own action 
nearer to Pauline. A railway journey would have given 
him none of this endless anticipation, travelling through 
what at this time of the year before the season of boating 
was a delicious solitude. Guy could sing all the way if he 



hat- 



Spring 155 



wished, for there was nothing but buttercups and daisies, 
lambs and meadows and greening willows to overlook his 
progress. He glided beneath ancient bridges and rested 
at ancient inns, nearer every night to Pauline. Scarcely had 
such days a perceptible flight, and were not May Morning 
marked in flame on his mind's calendar, he could have for- 
gotten time in this slow undated diminution. 

O mistress mine, where are you roaming ? 
O, stay and hear ; your true love's coming, 

That can sing both high and low : 
Trip no further, pretty sweeting ; 
Journeys end in lovers meeting, 

Every wise man's son doth know. 

This was the song Guy flung before his prow to the vision 
of Pauline leading him. 

What is love ? 'tis not hereafter ; 
Present mirth hath present laughter ; 

What's to come is still unsure : 
In delay there lies no plenty ; 
Then come kiss me, sweet and twenty, 

Youth's a stuff will not endure. 

This was the song that Guy felt Shakespeare might have 
written to suit his journey now, as he paddled higher and 
higher up the stream that flowed toward Shakespeare's own 
country. 

The banks of the Greenrush were narrower than the 
banks of the Thames : and all the way they were becoming 
narrower, and all the way the stream was running more 
swiftly against him. It was Sunday evening when he 
reached Plashers Mead ; and so massively welded was the 
sago on his Sheraton table that Guy wondered if Miss 



156 Guy and Pauline 

Peasey to be ready for his arrival had not cooked it a week 
ago. But what did sago matter, when in his place there 
was laid a note from Pauline ? 

My dearest, 

Pve had all your letters and Pve been very frightened 
you'd be drowned. To-morrow you've got to come to breakfast 
because I always have breakfast in the garden on my birthday 
unless it 'pours. Pm going to church at eight. I love you a 
thousand times more and I will tell you so to-morrow and 
give you twenty kisses. 

Tour own 

Pauline. 
Do you like ( your own ' better than ' your loving ' ? 

Guy went to bed very early and resolved to wake at 
dawn that he might have the hours of the morning for 
thoughts of Pauline on her birthday. 

It was after dawn when Guy woke, for he had fallen asleep 
very tired after his week on the river ; still it was scarcely 
six when he came down into the orchard, and the birds 
were singing as Guy thought he had never heard them sing 
before. The apple trees were already frilled with a foam 
of blossom ; and on quivering boughs linnets with breasts 
rose-burnt by the winds of March throbbed out their carol. 
Chaffinches with flashing prelude of silver wings flourished a 
burst of song that broke as with too intolerable a triumph : 
then sought another tree and poured forth the triumphant 
song again. Thrushes, blackbirds and warblers quired deep- 
throated melodies against the multitudinous trebles of 
those undistinguished myriads that with choric paean 
saluted May ; and on sudden diminuendoes could be heard 
the rustling canzonets of the goldfinches, rising and falling 
with reedy cadences. 



Spring 157 

Guy launched his canoe, which crushed the dewy young 
grass in its track and laded the morning with one more 
fragrance. He paddled down the mill-stream and, landing 
presently in the Rectory paddock now in full blow with 
white and purple irises, he went through the wicket into the 
garden. When he reached the lily-pond the birds on the 
lawn flew away and left it green and empty. He stood 
entranced, for the hush of the morning lay on the house, 
and in the wistaria Pauline's window dreamed, wide open. 
Deep in the shrubberies the birds still twittered incessantly. 
Why was he not one of these birds, that he might light upon 
her sill ? Upon Guy's senses stole the imagination of a new 
fragrance, that was being shed upon the day by that wide- 
open window ; a fragrance that might be of flowers grow- 
ing by the walks of her dreams. And surely in those flowery 
dreams he was beside her, since he had lost all sense of being 
still on earth. A bee flew out from Pauline's room, an en- 
viable bee which had been booming with indefinite motion 
for how long round and round the white tulips on her sill. 
Presently another bee flew in ; and Guy's fancy, catching 
hold of its wings hovered above Pauline where she lay 
sleeping. So sharp was the emotion he had of entering with 
the bee, that he was aware of brushing back her light brown 
hair to lean down and kiss her forehead ; and when the 
belfry-clock clanged he was startled to find himself back 
upon this green and empty lawn. He must not stay here in 
front of her window, because if she woke and came in her 
white nightgown to greet the day, she would be shy to see 
him standing here. Reluctantly Guy turned away and 
would have gone out again by the wicket in the wall, if he 
had not come face to face with Birdwood. 

" I think I'm a bit early," he said in some embarrassment. 

" Yes, I think you are a bit early, sir," the gardener agreed. 

" Breakfast won't be till about half past eight ? " Guy 
suggested. 



158 Guy and Pauline 

" And it's just gone the half of six," said Birdwood. 

" Would you like to see my canoe ? " Guy asked. 

Birdwood looked round the lawn, seeming to imply that, 
such was Guy's liberty of behaviour, he half expected to 
see it floating on the lily-pond. 

" Where is it then ? " he asked. 

Guy took him through the paddock to where the canoe 
lay on the mill-stream. 

" Handy little weapon,"' Birdwood commented. 

" Well, I'll see you later, I expect," said Guy embarking 
again. " I'm coming to breakfast at the Rectory." 

" Yes, sir," the gardener answered cheerfully. " In about 
another hour and a half I shall be looking for the eggs." 

Guy waved his hand and shot out into midstream where 
he drifted idly. Should he go to church this morning ? 
Pauline must have wanted him to come, or she would not 
have told him in her note that she was going. They had 
never discussed the question of religion. Tacitly he had 
let it be supposed he believed in her simple creed, and he 
knew his appearance of faith had given pleasure to the 
family as well as to Pauline herself. Was he being very 
honest with her or with them ? Certainly when he knelt 
at the back of the church and saw Pauline as he had seen 
her on Easter Day, it was not hard to believe in divinity. 
But he did not carry away Pauline's faith to cheer his own 
secret hours. The thought of herself was always with him, 
but her faith remained as a kind of vision upon which he 
was privileged to gaze on those occasions when, as it were, 
she made of it a public confession. Had he really any right 
to intrude upon such sanctities as hers would be to-day ? 
No doubt every birthday morning she went to church, and 
the strangeness of his presence seemed almost an unhallow- 
ing of such rites. Even to attend her birthday breakfast 
began to appear unjustifiable, as he thought of all the 
birthday breakfasts that for so many years had passed by 






Spring 1 59 

without him and without any idea of there ever being any 
necessity for him. No doubt this morning he, miserable 
and unworthy sceptic, would be dowered with the half of 
her prayers, and in that consciousness could he bear to 
accept them, kneeling at the back of the church, unless he 
believed utterly they were sanctified by something more 
than her own maidenhood ? Yet if he did not go to church, 
Pauline would be disappointed, because she would surely 
expect him. She would be like the blessed damozel leaning 
out from the gold bar of Heaven and weeping because he 
did not come. There was no gain from honesty, if she were 
made miserable by it. It were better a thousand times he 
should kneel humbly at the back of the church and pray 
for the faith that was hers. And why could he not believe 
as she believed ? If her faith were true, he suffered from 
injustice by having no grace accorded to him. Or did there 
indeed lie between him and her the impassable golden bar 
of Heaven ? A cloud swept across the morning sun, and 
Guy shivered. Then the church-bell began to clang and, 
urging his canoe towards the churchyard, he jumped ashore 
and knelt at the back of the church. 

Guy had been aware during the service of the saintly 
pageant along the windows of the clerestory slowly dimming, 
and he was not surprized, when he came out, to see that 
clouds were dusking the first brilliance of the day. Mrs. 
Grey, Monica and Margaret had prayed each in a different 
part of the church ; but now in the porch they fluttered 
about Pauline with an intimate and happy awareness of her 
birthday, almost seeming to wrap her in it, so that she in 
flushed responsiveness wore all her twenty years like a 
bunch of roses. Guy was sensitive to the faint reluctance 
with which her mother and sisters resigned her to him on 
this birthday morning ; but yet to follow them back from 
church with Pauline beside him in a trepidation of blushes 
and sparkles was too dear a joy for him in turn to resign. 




160 Guy and Pauline 

Half-way to the house Pauline remembered that her father 
had been left alone. This was too wide a breach in her 
birthday's accustomed ceremony, and much dismayed she 
begged Guy to go back with her. At that moment the rest 
of the family had disappeared round a curve in the walk, 
and Guy caught Pauline to him, complaining she had not 
kissed him since he was home. 

" Oh, but Father ! " she said breathlessly tugging. 
" He'll be so hurt if we've gone on without him." 

Guy felt a stab of jealousy that even a father should 
intrude upon his birthday kiss for her. 

" Oh, very well," he said half coldly. " If to see me 
again after a fortnight means so little . . ." 

" Guy," said Pauline, " you're not cross with me ? And 
Father was so sweet about you. He said, * Is Guy coming 
to breakfast ? ' Guy, you mustn't mind if I think a lot 
about everybody to-day. You see, this is my first birthday 
when there has been you." 

" Oh, don't remind me of the years before we met," 
said Guy. " I hate them all. No, I don't," he exclaimed 
in swift penitence. " I love them all. Hurry, darling girl, 
or we shall miss him." 

Pauline's eyes were troubled by a question, behind which 
lurked a fleeting alarm. 

" Kiss me," she murmured. " I was horrid." 

A kind of austerity informed their kiss of reconciliation, 
an austerity that suited the sky of impending rain under 
which they were standing in the light of the last wan sun- 
beam. Then they hurried to the churchyard where in the 
porch the Rector was looking vaguely round for the com- 
pany he expected. 

" Lucky my friend Lorteti came out yesterday. This 
rain will ruin him. You must take Guy to see that iris, my 
dear. Fancy, twenty-one to-day, dear me ! dear me ! most 
remarkable ! " 



Spring 161 

Pauline danced with delight behind the Rector's back. 

" He thinks I'm twenty-one," she whispered. " Oh, 
Guy, isn't he sweet ? And he called you Guy. Oh, Francis," 
she cried. " Do let me kiss you." 

There was a short debate on the probability of the rain's 
coming before breakfast was done, but it was decided, 
thanks to Birdwood's optimism, to accept the risk of inter- 
ruption by sitting down outside. The table was on the 
lawn, Pauline's presents lying in a heap at the head. As one 
by one she opened the packets, everybody stood round her, 
not merely her mother and father and sisters and Guy, but 
also Birdwood and elderly Janet and Mrs. Unger the cook 
and Polly who helped Mrs. Unger. 

" Oh, I'm so excited," said Pauline. " Oh, I do hope it 
won't rain. Oh, thank you, Mrs. Unger. What a beautiful 
frame ! " 

" I hope yaw'll find someone to put in it, miss," said 
Mrs. Unger with a glance of stately admiration toward her 
present and a triumphant side look at Janet, who after 
many years' superintendence of Pauline's white fastness 
had brought her bunches of lavender and woodruff tied up 
with ribbons. All the presents were now undone, among 
them Guy's green volume, a paste buckle from Margaret, 
a piece of old embroidery from Monica and from Richard 
in India a pair of carved bellows, at the prodigal ingenuity 
of whose pattern Margaret looked a little peevish. When 
all the other presents had been examined, Birdwood stepped 
forward and with the air of a conjuror produced from 
under his coat a pot of rose-coloured sweet-peas that 
exactly matched the frail hue of Pauline's cheeks. 

Breakfast was eaten, with everybody's eyes watching the 
now completely grey sky. How many such birthday break- 
fasts had been eaten on this cool lawn by these people who 
in their simplicity were akin to the birds in their shubberies 
and the flowers in their borders ; and Guy thought of an 



162 Guy and Pauline 



)irth- 



old photograph taken by an uncle of Pauline's tenth birth- 
day breakfast, when the table was heaped high with dolls 
and toys and Pauline in the middle of them, while Monica 
and Margaret with legs as thin as thrushes' stood shy and 
graceful in the background. He sighed to himself with 
amazement at the fortune which like a genie had whisked 
him into this dear assemblage. 

Breakfast was over just as the rain began to fall with the 
tinkling whisper that forebodes determination. There was 
not a leaf in the garden that was not ringing like an elfin 
bell to these silver drops ; but, alas, the unrelenting wind- 
less rain gave no hope to Guy and Pauline of that long walk 
together they had expected all a fortnight. There was 
nothing to do but sit in the nursery and wonder if it would 
ever stop. 

" I used to love rain when it kept me here," said Guy. 
" Now it has become our enemy." 

Worse was to come, for it rained every day faster and 
faster, and there were no journeys for Guy's new canoe. 
He and Pauline scarcely had ten minutes to themselves, 
since when they were kept in the house all the family treated 
them with that old proprietary manner. The unending 
rain began to fret them more sharply because Spring's 
greenery was in such weather of the vividest hue and was 
reproaching them perpetually for the waste of this lovely 
month of May. 

The river was rising. Already Guy's garden was sheened 
with standing moisture, and the apple-blossom lay ruined. 
People vowed there had never been such rain in May, and 
still it rained. The river was running swiftly, level with 
the top of its banks, and many of the meadows were become 
glassy firmaments. Very beautiful was this green and silver 
landscape, but oh, the rain was endless. Guy grew much 
depressed and Miss Peasey got rheumatism in her ankles. 
Then in the middle of the month, when Guy was feeling 



Spring 163 






desperate and when even Pauline seemed sad for the hours 
that were being robbed from them, it cleared up. 

Guy had been to tea, and after tea he and Pauline had 
sat watching the weather. Margaret had stayed with them 
all the afternoon, but had left them alone now, when it was 
half-past six and nearly time for Guy to go. The clouds, 
which all day had spread their pearly despair over the world, 
suddenly melted in a wild transplendency of gold. 

" Oh, do let's go for a walk before dinner," said Guy. 
" Don't let's tell anybody, but let's escape." 

" Where shall we go ? " 

" Anywhere. Anywhere. Out in the meadows by the 
edge of the water. Let's get sopping wet. Dearest, do 
come. We're never free. We're never alone." 

So Pauline got ready ; and they slipped away from the 
house, hoping that nobody would call them back and hurry- 
ing through the wicket into the paddock where the irises 
hung all sodden. They walked along the banks of a river 
twice as wide as it should be, and found they could not 
cross the bridge. But it did not matter, for the field where 
they were walking was not flooded, and they went on toward 
the mill. Here they crossed the river and, hurrying always 
as if they were pursued, such was their sense of a sudden 
freedom that could not last, they made a circuit of the 
wettest meadows and came to the hill on the other side. 
Everywhere above them the clouds were breaking, and all 
the West was a fiery mist of rose and gold. 

The meadow they had found was crimsoned over with 
ragged robins that in this strange light glowered angrily 
like rubies. Pauline bent down and gathered bunches of 
them until her arms were full. Her skirt was wet, but 
still she plucked the crimson flowers ; and Guy was gather- 
ing them too, knee-deep in soaking grass. What fever was 
in the sunset to-night ? 

" Pauline," he cried flinging high his bunch of ragged 



1 64 Guy and Pauline 

robins to scatter upon the incarnadined air. " I have never 
loved you, as I love you now." 

Guy caught her to him ; and into that kiss the fiery sky 
entered, so that Pauline let fall her ragged robins and they 
lay limp in the grass and were trodden under foot. 

" Pauline, I have a ring for you," he whispered. " Will 
you wear it when we are alone ? " 

She took the thin circlet set with a crystal, and put it 
on her finger. Then with passionate arms she held him to 
her heart : the caress burned his lips like a flaming torch : 
the crystal flashed with hectic gleams, a basilisk, a perilous 
orient gem. 

" We must go home," she whispered. " Oh, Guy, I feel 
frightened of this evening." 

" Pauline, my burning rose," he whispered. 

And all the way back into the crimson sunset they talked 
still in whispers, and of those rain-drenched ragged robins 
there was not one they carried home. 

c La belle Dame sans mercy hath ihee in thrall ! ' 

* La belle Dame sans mercy hath thee in thrall ! ' 

4 La belle Dame sans mercy hath thee in thrall ! ' 

The words did not cool Guy's pillow that night, but they 
led him by strange ways into a fevered sleep. 



SUMMER 



WHEN Pauline reached the Rectory dinner had 
already begun in the mixture of candlelight 
and rosy dusk that seemed there more than 
anything to mark Summer's instant approach, and as with 
flushed cheeks she took her place at table, she was conscious 
of an atmosphere that was half disapproval, half anxiety ; 
or was it that she disapproving of herself expected criticism ? 
Positively there was an emotion of being on her defence ; 
she felt propitiatory and apologetic ; and for the first time 
she was sharply aware of herself and her family as two 
distinct facts. It was to dispel this uneasy sense of potential 
division that she took up her violin with a faintly ex- 
aggerated willingness and that, instead of dreaming of Guy 
in a corner of the room, she played all the evening in the 
same spirit of wanting to please. 

Her mother asked if she had enjoyed her walk, and 
Pauline had positively to fight with herself before she 
could answer lightly enough that the walk had been perfect. 
Why was her heart beating like this, and why did her sisters 
regard her so gravely ? It must be her fancy, and almost 
defiantly she continued : 

" There was no harm in my going out with Guy, was 
there ? We've not been together at all lately." 

" Why should there be any particular harm this evening ? " 
Monica enquired. 

" Of course not, Monica," and again her heart was 
beating furiously. " I only asked because I thought you 
all seemed angry with me for being a little late for 
dinner." 



1 68 Guy and- Pauline 

" I don't know why we should suddenly be sensitive about 
punctuality in this house," said Margaret. 

Pauline had never thought her own white fastness offered 
such relief and shelter as to-night ; and yet, she assured 
herself, nobody had really been criticizing her. It must 
have been entirely her fancy, that air of reproach, those 
insinuations of cold surprize. People in this house did not 
understand what it meant to be as much in love as she. 
It was all very well for Margaret and Monica to lay down 
laws for behaviour, Margaret who did not know whether 
she loved or not, Monica who disapproved of anything more 
directly emotional than a Gregorian chant. Yet they had 
not theorized to-night, nor had they propounded one rule 
of behaviour ; it was she who was rushing to meet their 
postulates and observations, arming herself with weapons 
of offence before the attack had begun. Yet why had 
neither Monica nor Margaret, nor even her mother, come 
to say good-night to her ? They did not understand about 
love, not one of them, not one of them. 

" Pauline ? " 

It was her mother's voice outside her door, who coming 
in seemed perfectly herself. 

" Not undressed yet ? What's the matter, darling 
Pauline ? You look quite worried, sitting there in your 
chair." 

" I'm not worried, Mother. Really, darling, I'm not 
worried. I thought you were cross with me." 

Now she was crying and being petted. 

" I don't know why I'm crying. Oh, I'm so foolish. Why 
am I crying ? Are you cross with me ? " 

" Pauline, what is the matter ? Have you had a quarrel 
with Guy ?" 

" Good gracious, no ! What makes you ask that ? We 
had an exquisite walk, and the sunset was wonderful, oh, so 
wonderful ! And we picked ragged robins great bunches 



Summer 169 

of them. Only I forgot to bring them home. How stupid 
of me. Monica and Margaret aren't angry with me, are 
they ? They were so cold at dinner. Why were they ? 
Mother, I do love you so. You do understand me, don't 
you ? You do sympathize with love ? Mother, I do love 
you so." 

When Pauline was in bed her mother fetched Margaret 
and Monica, who both came and kissed her good-night and 
asked what could have given her the idea that they were 
angry with her. 

" You foolish little thing, go to sleep," said Monica. 

;< You mustn't let your being in love with Guy spoil the 
Rectory," said Margaret. " Because, you know, the 
Rectory is so much, much better than anything else in the 
world." 

Her mother and sisters left her, going gently from the 
room as if she were already asleep. 

Pauline read for awhile from Guy's green volume of 
Blake ; then taking from under her pillow the crystal ring, 
she put it on her third finger and blew out the light. 

Was he thinking of her at this moment ? He must be, 
and how near they brought him to her, these nights of 
thoughts, for then she seemed to be floating out of her 
window to meet him half-way upon the May air. How she 
loved him ; and he had given her this ring of which no one 
knew except themselves. It was strange to have been 
suddenly frightened in that sunset, for now, as she lay here 
looking back upon it, this evening was surely the most 
wonderful of her life. He had called her his burning rose. 
His burning rose . . . his burning rose ? Why had she not 
brought back a few of those ragged robins to sit like confi- 
dantes beside her bed ? Flowers were such companions ; 
the beautiful and silent flowers. How far away sleep was 
still standing from her : and Pauline got out of bed and 
leaned from the window with a sensation of resting upon 




170 Guy and Pauline 

the buoyant darkness. The young May moon had already 
set, and not a sound could be heard ; so still indeed was 
the night that it seemed as if the stars ought to be audible 
upon their twinkling. If now a nightingale would but sing 
to say what she was wanting to say to the darkness ! Nightin- 
gales, however, were rare in the trees round Wychford, and 
the garden stayed silent. Perhaps Guy was leaning from his 
window like this, and it was a pity their lights could not 
shine across, each candle fluttering to the other. If only 
Flashers Mead were within view, they would be able to sit 
at their windows in the dark hours and sometimes signal to 
one another. Or would that be what Margaret called 
* cheapening ' herself ? Had she cheapened herself this 
evening, when she had kissed him for the gift of this ring ? 
Yet could she cheapen herself to Guy ? He loved her as 
much as she loved him ; and always she and he must be 
equal in their love. She could never be very much reserved 
with Guy : she did not want to be. She loved him, and 
this evening for the first time she had kissed him in the way 
that often in solitude she had longed to kiss him. 

" I only want to live for love," she whispered. 

Naturally Margaret did not know what love like hers 
meant ; and perhaps it was as well, for it was sad enough 
to be parted from Guy for two days, when there was always 
the chance of seeing him in the hours between ; but to be 
separated from him by oceans for two years, as Richard and 
Margaret were separated, that would be unbearable. 

" I suppose Margaret would call it ' cheapening ' myself 
to be standing at my window like this. Good-night, dearest 
Guy, good-night. Your Pauline is thinking of you to the 
very last moment of being the smallest bit awake." 

Her voice set out to Plashers Mead, no louder than a 
moth's wing ; and, turning away from the warm May night, 
Pauline went back to bed and fell asleep on the happy con- 
templation of a love that between them was exactly equal. 



Summer 171 

The floods went down rapidly during the week ; green 
Summer flung her wreaths before her : the cuckoo sang 
out of tune and other birds more rarely : chestnut-blossom 
powdered the grass : and the pinks were breaking all along 
the Rectory borders. These were days when not to idle 
down the river would have been a slight upon the season. 
So Pauline and Guy, with their two afternoons a week, 
which were not long in becoming four, spent all their time 
in the canoe. The Rectory punt could only be used on the 
mill-stream ; and Pauline rejoiced, if somewhat guiltily, 
that they could not invite either of her sisters to accompany 
them. She and Guy had now so much to say to each other, 
every day more it seemed, that it was impossible any longer 
not to wish to be alone. 

" Margaret says we are becoming selfish, are we ? " she 
asked, dragging her fingers through the water and perceiving 
the world through ranks of fleurs-de-lys. 

Guy from where in the stern he sat hunched over his 
paddle asked in what way they were supposed to be selfish. 

" Well, it is true that I'm dreadfully absent-minded all 
the time. You know, I can't think about anything but 
you. Then, you see, we used always to invite Margaret 
to be with us, and now we hurry away in the canoe from 
everybody." 

" One would think we spent all our time together," said 
Guy. " Instead of barely four hours a week." 

" Oh, Guy darling, it's more than that. This is the 
fourth afternoon running that we've been together ; and 
we weren't back yesterday till dinner-time." 

Guy put a finger to his mouth. 

" Hush ! We're coming to the bend in the river that 
flows round the place we first met," he whispered. " Hush ! 
if we talk about other people, it will be disenchanted." 

He swung the canoe under the bushes, tied it to a haw- 
thorn bough and declared triumphantly, as they climbed 




;IA 

: 



;u, 





172 Guy and Pauline 

ashore up the steep bank, that here was practically a desert 
island. Then they went to the narrow entrance and gazed 
over the meadows which in this sacred time of growing 
grass really were impassable as the sea. 

" Not even a cow in sight," Guy commented in well 
satisfied tones. " I shall be sorry when the hay is cut, anc 
people and cattle can come here again." 

" People and cattle ! How naughty you are, Guy. As ii 
they were just the same ! " 

" Well, practically you know, as far as we're concerned, 
there isn't very much difference." 

For a long while they sat by the edge of the stream 
their fragrant seclusion. 

" Dearest," Pauline sighed. " Why can I listen to you all 
day, and yet whenever anybody else talks to me, why do 
I feel as if I were only half awake ? " 

" Because even when you're not with me," said Guy, 
" you're still really with me. That's why. You see you're 
still listening to me." 

This was a pleasant explanation ; but Pauline was 
anxious to be reassured about what Margaret had hinted 
was a deterioration in her character lately. 

" Perhaps we are a little selfish. But we won't be, when 
we're married." 

Guy had been scribbling on an envelope which he now 
handed to her ; and she read : 

Mrs. Guy Hazlezuood 
Flashers Mead 
Wychford 
Oxon. 

" Oh, Guy, you know I love to see it written : but isn't 
it unlucky to write it ? " 



Summer 173 

" I don't think you ought to be so superstitious," he 
scoffed. 

She wished he were not obviously despising the weakness 
of her beliefs. This was the mood in which she seemed 
farthest away from him ; when she felt afraid of his clever- 
ness ; and when what had been simple became maddeningly 
twisted up like an object in a nightmare. 

Yet worries that were so faint as scarcely to have a 
definite shape could still be bought off with kisses ; and 
always when she kissed Guy they receded out of sight 
again, temporarily appeased. 

June, which had come upon them unawares, drifted on 
toward Midsummer, and the indolent and lovely month 
mirrored herself in the stream with lush growth of sedges 
and grasses, with yellow water-lilies budding, with starry 
crowfoot and with spongy reeds and weeds that kept the 
canoe to a slow progress in accord with the season. At this 
time, mostly, they launched their craft in the mill-stream, 
whence they glided under Wychford bridge to the pool of 
an abandoned mill on the farther side. Here they would 
float immotionable on the black water, surrounded by 
tumbledown buildings that rose from the vivid and 
exuberant growth of the thick-leaved vegetation nourish- 
ing against these cold and decayed foundations. Pauline 
was always relieved when Guy with soundless paddle 
steered the canoe away from these deeps. The mill-pool 
affected her with the merely physical fear of being over- 
turned and plunged into those glooms haunted by shadowy 
fish, there far down to be strangled by weeds the upper 
tentacles of w r hich could be seen undulating finely to the 
least quiver upon the face of the water. Yet more subtly 
than by physical terrors did these deeps affect her, for the 
fathomless mill-pool always seemed, as they hung upon it, 
to ask a question. With such an air of horrible invitation 
it asked her where she was going with Guy, that no amount 



174 Guy and Pauline 

of self-reproach for a morbid fancy could drive away the 
fact of the question's being always asked, however firmly 
she might fortify herself against paying attention. The 
moment they passed out of reach of that smooth and cruel 
countenance, Pauline was always ashamed of the terror and 
never confided in Guy what a mixture of emotions the mill- 
pool could conjure for her. Their journey across it was in 
this sunny weather the prelude to a cool time on the stream 
that flowed along the foot of the Abbey grounds. During 
May they had been wont to paddle directly up the smaller 
main stream, exploring far along the Western valley ; but 
on these June afternoons such a course involved too much 
energy. So they used to disembark from the canoe, pulling 
it over a narrow strip of grass to be launched again on the 
Abbey stream, which had been dammed up to flow with 
the greater width and solemnity that suited the grand 
house shimmering in eternal ghostliness at the top of the 
dark plantation. Pauline had no dread of Wychford Abbey 
at this distance, and she was fond of gliding down this 
stream into which the great beeches dipped their tresses, 
shading it from the heat of the sun. 

Every hour they spent on the river made them long to 
spend more hours together, and Pauline began to tell 
herself she was more deeply in love than anyone she had 
ever known. Everything except love was floating away 
from her like the landscape astern of the canoe. She began 
to neglect various people in Wychford over whom she had 
hitherto watched with maternal solicitude : even Miss 
Verney was not often visited, because she and Guy could 
not go together, the one original rule to which Mrs. Grey 
still clung being a prohibition of walking together through 
the town. And with the people went her music. She did 
not entirely give up playing but she always played so badly 
that Monica declared once she would rather such playing 
were given up. In years gone by Pauline had kept white 



Summer 175 

fantail pigeons : but now they no longer interested her 
and she gave them away in pairs. Birdwood declared that 
the small bee-garden which from earliest childhood had 
belonged to her guardianship was a ' proper disgrace.' 
Her tambour-frame showed nothing but half-fledged birds 
from which since Winter had hung unkempt shreds of blue 
and red wool. And even her mother's vague talks about 
the poor people in Wychford had no longer an audience, 
because Margaret and Monica never had listened, and now 
Pauline was as inattentive as her sisters. Nothing was 
worth while except to be with Guy. Not one moment 
of this June must be wasted, and Pauline managed to set 
up a precedent for going out on the river with him after 
tea, when in the cool afternoon they would float down 
behind Guy's house under willows, under hawthorns, past 
the golden fleurs-de-lys, past the scented flags, past the 
early meadowsweet and the flowering rush, past comfrey 
and watermint, figwort, forget-me-not and blue cranesbill 
that shimmered in the sun like steely mail. 

On Midsummer Day about five o'clock Pauline and Guy 
set out on one of these expeditions that they had stolen 
from regularity, and found all their favourite fields occupied 
by haymakers whose labour they resented as an intrusion 
upon the country they had come to regard as their own. 

" Oh, I wish I had money," Guy exclaimed. " I'd like 
to buy all this land and keep it for you and me. Why must 
all these wretched people come and disturb the peace 
of it ? " 

" I used to love haymaking," said Pauline, feeling a little 
wistful for some of those simple joys that now seemed 
uncapturable again. 

" Yes. I should like haymaking," Guy assented, " if we 
were married. It's the fact that haymakers are at this 
moment preventing us being alone which makes me cry 
out against them. How can I kiss you here ? " 



176 Guy and Pauline 

A wain loaded high with hay and laughing children was 
actually standing close against the ingress to their own 
peninsula. The mellow sun of afternoon was lending a 
richer quality of colour to nu thrown cheeks and arms ; was 
throwing long shadows across the shorn grass ; was gilding 
the pitchforks and sparkling the gnats that danced above 
the patient horses. It was a scene that should have made 
Pauline dream with joy of her England : yet, with Guy's 
discontent brooding over it, she did not care for these 
jocund haymakers who were working through the lustred 
afternoon. 

"Hopeless," Guy protested. "It's like Piccadilly 
Circus." 

" Oh, Guy dear, you are absurd. It's not a bit like 
Piccadilly Circus." 

" I don't see the use of living in the country if it's always 
going to be alive with people," Guy went on. " We may 
as well turn round. The afternoon is ruined." 

When they reached the confines of Plashers Mead, he 
exclaimed in deeper despair : 

" Pauline ! I must kiss you ; and, look, actually the 
churchyard now is crammed with people, all hovering 
about over the graves like ghouls. Why does everybody 
want to come out this afternoon ? " 

They landed in the orchard behind the house, and 
Pauline was getting ready to help Guy push the canoe 
across to the mill-stream, when he vowed she must come 
and kiss him good-night indoors. 

" Of course I will ; though I mustn't stay more than a 
minute, because I promised Mother to be back by seven." 

" I don't deserve you," said Guy, standing still and look- 
ing down at her. " I've done nothing but grumble all the 
afternoon, and you've been an angel. Ah, but it's only 
because I long to kiss you." 

" I long to kiss you," she murmured. 



Summer 177 

" Do you ? Do you ? " he whispered. " Oh, with those 
ghouls in the churchyard I can't even take your hand." 

They crossed the bridge from the orchard and came 
round to the front of the house into full sunlight, and 
thence out of the dazzle into Guy's hall that was filled with 
watery melodies and the green light of their own pastoral 
world. Close they kissed, close and closer in the coolness 
and stillness. 

" Pauline ! I shall go mad for love of you." 

" I love you. I love you," she sighed, nestling to his 
arms' enclosure. 

" Pauline ! " 

" Guy ! " 

Each called to the other as if over an abyss of years and 
time. 

Then Pauline said she must go back, but Guy reminded 
her of a book she had promised to read, and begged her 
just to come with him to the library. 

" I do want to talk to you once alone in my own room," 
he said. " The evenings won't seem so empty when I can 
think of you there." 

She could not disappoint him, and they went upstairs 
and into his green room that smelt of tobacco-smoke and 
meadowsweet. They stood by the window looking out 
over their territory, and Guy told for the hundredth time 
how, as it were, straight from this window he had plunged 
to meet her that September night. 

" Hullo," he exclaimed suddenly, reading on the pane 
that was scrabbled with mottoes cut by himself in idle 
moments with the glazier's pencil : 

The fresh green lap of fair King Richard's land. 
Michael Fane. June 24. 

" That's to-day ! Then Michael must be here. What 
an extraordinary thing ! " 



178 Guy and Pauline 



iend : 



Guy looked round the room for any sign of his friend 
but there was nothing except the Shakesperean record of 
his presence. Pauline felt hurt that he should be so much 
interested in a friend, when but a moment ago he had 
brought her here as if her presence were the only thing that 
counted for his evening's pleasure. 

" I must find out where he is," exclaimed Guy. 

Now he wanted to be rid of her, thought Pauline, and 
for the first time, when he had kissed her, she kissed him 
coldly in response. More bitter still was the thought that 
he did not remonstrate : he had not noticed. Pauline said 
she must hurry away, and Guy did not persuade her to stop. 
Oh, how she hated this friend of his ; she had no one in 
whom she would be even mildly interested when she was 
with Guy. He took her home in the canoe, speculating 
all the way about Michael Fane's whereabouts ; and as 
Pauline went across the Rectory paddock there were tears 
of mortification in her eyes that sometimes burnt as hotly 
even as with jealousy's rage. 

Her mother was on the lawn, when she got back, and 
Pauline blinked her eyes a good deal to throw the blame of 
tears upon the sun. 

" Ah, you're back. Let's take a little walk round the 
garden," said Mrs. Grey in the nervous manner that told 
of something on her mind. 

They went into the larger wall-garden and walked along 
the wide herbaceous borders through a blaze of snap- 
dragons that here all day had been swallowing the sunshine. 

" Where did you go with Guy ? " her mother asked. 

" We went down the river, and they're cutting the grass 
in the big meadow and then afterwards . . ." 

" Oh, Pauline, afterwards you went into Guy's house 
with him ? " 

Pauline nodded. 

" I know. I was just going to tell you." 



Summer 179 

" Pauline, how could you do such a thing ? " 

" I only went to say good-night. I wasn't there five 
minutes." 

Why should an action so simple be vexing her mother ? 

" Are you angry with me for going ? " 

" You must never do such a thing again," said Mrs. Grey 
more crossly than Pauline had ever heard her. " Monica 
saw you go in as she was walking down Shipcot hill, and she 
has just this moment come and told me." 

" But why shouldn't I go in and say good-night ? " 
Pauline asked. " There were people in the churchyard. 
I thought it was better to say good-night in the house." 

Her mother was tremulously pink with vexation, and 
Pauline looked at her in surprize. It was really unaccount- 
able that such a trifling incident as going into Guy's house 
could have made her as angry as this. She must have 
offended her in some other way. 

" Mother, what have I done to annoy you ? " 

" I can't think what made you do anything so stupid as 
that. I can't think. I can't think. So many people may 
have seen you go in." 

" Well, Mother darling, surely by this time," said Pauline, 
" everybody must know we are really engaged." 

Her mother stood in an access of irritation. 

" And don't you understand how that makes it all the 
worse ? Please never do such an inconsiderate thing again. 
You can imagine how much it upset Monica, when she ran 
back to tell me." 

" Why didn't she come in and fetch me ? " asked Pauline. 
" That would have been much easier. I think she thoroughly 
enjoyed making a great fuss about nothing. Everybody has 
been criticizing me lately. I know you all disapprove of 
anybody's being in love." 

" Pauline, when you are to blame, you shouldn't say such 
unkind things about Monica." 









i8o Guy and Pauline 

" I have to say what I think sometimes," Pauline replied 
rebelliously. 

" And as for Guy," Mrs. Grey went on, " I am astonished 
at his thoughtlessness. I can't understand how he could 
dream of letting you come into his house. I can't under- 
stand it." 

" Yes, but why shouldn't I go in ? " Pauline persisted. 
" Darling Mother, you go on being angry with me, but you 
don't tell me why I shouldn't go in." 

" Can't you understand what the Wychford people 
might think \ " 

Pauline shook her head. 

" Well, I shan't say any more about it," Mrs. Grey 
decided. " But you must promise me never never to do 
such a foolish thing again." 

" I'll promise you never to go to Guy's house," said 
Pauline. " But I can't promise never to do foolish 
things, when such perfectly ordinary things are called 
foolish." 

Mrs. Grey looked helplessly round her, but as neither of 
her two elder daughters was present she had nothing to say ; 
and Pauline, who thought that all the fuss was due to nothing 
but Monica's unwarranted interference, had nothing to say 
either ; so they walked along the herbaceous borders each 
with a demeanour of reproach for the other's failure to 
understand. The snapdragons lolled upon the sun with 
gold-bloomed anthers, and drank more and still more colour 
until they were drenched beyond the deepest dyes of 
crimson, extinguishing the paler hues of rose and chrome 
which yet at moth-time would show like lamps when the 
others had dulled in the discouragement of twilight. 

" You mustn't think anything more about it," said her 
mother after a long silence. "I'm sure it was only heed- 
lessness. I don't think you can say I'm too strict with you 
and Guy. Really, you know, you ought to have had a 



Summer 181 

very happy June. You've been together nearly all the 
time." 

" Darling," said Pauline utterly penitent for the least 
look that could have wounded her mother's feelings. 
" You're sweet to us. And Guy loves you nearly as much 
as I do." 

The gong sounded upon the luteous air of the evening ; 
and Pauline with her arm closely tucked into her mother's 
arm walked with her across the lawn toward the house. 

" It's no good looking crossly at me," she said when like 
a beautiful ghost Monica came into the dining-room. " I've 
explained everything to Mother." 

" I'm very glad you have," Monica answered austerely ; 
and because she would not fall in with her own forgiving 
mood, Pauline took the gentle revenge of not expostulating 
with her that evening when there was an opportunity. Nor 
would she let Margaret refer to the subject. Her sisters 
were very adorable, but they knew nothing about love and 
it would only make them more anxious to lay down laws if 
she showed that she was aware of their disapproval. She 
would be particularly charming to them both this evening, 
but her revenge must be never to mention the incident to 
either. 

The principal result of her mother's rebuke had been to 
drive away Pauline's anger with Guy and the jealousy of his 
friend. All she thought now was of the time when next 
they would meet and when she would be able to laugh with 
him over the absurdity of other people pretending to know 
anything about the ways of love or of lovers like themselves. 
She decided also that, as a penance for having been angry 
with Guy, she would take care to enquire the very first 
thing about the mystery of the inscription on the window. 
Oh, but how she hoped his friend had not come to stay at 
Plashers Mead, for that would surely spoil this Summer of 
theirs. 



1 82 Guy and Pauline 

The next afternoon, when Pauline went into the paddock, 
Guy was waiting for her on the mill-stream, her place in the 
canoe all ready as usual. 

" Have you found your friend ? " she asked, faithful to 
her resolution. 

" Not a sign of him," said Guy. " What on earth he 
came for, I can't think. Miss Peasey never saw him and of 
course she never heard him. He must have been bicycling. 
However, don't let's waste time in talking about Michael 
Fane." 

Pauline smiled at him with all her heart. How wonderful 
Guy was to reward her so richly for the little effort it had 
cost to enquire about his friend. 

" I've been prospecting this morning," he announced as 
they shot along in the direction of the bridge. " They 
haven't started to make hay on the other side, so I'm going 
to paddle you furiously upstream until we find some secret 
and magical meadow where we can hide and forget about 
yesterday's fiasco." 

They glided underneath the bridge and left it quivering 
in the empty sunlight behind them ; they swept silently 
over the mill-pool while Pauline held her breath. Then the 
banks closed in upon their canoe and Guy fought his way 
against the swifter running of the river, on and on, on and 
on between the long grasses of the uncut meadows, on and 
on, on and on past the waterfall where the Abbey stream 
joined the main stream and gave it a wider and easier 
course. 

" Phew, it's hot," Guy exclaimed. " Sprinkle me with 
water." 

She splashed him laughing ; and he seized her hand to 
kiss her dabbled fingers. 

" Laugh, my sweet sweet heart," he said. " It was your 
laugh I heard before I ever heard your voice, that night 
when I stood and looked at you and Margaret as if you 



Summer 183 

were two silver people who had fallen down from the 
moon." 

Again she sprinkled him laughing, and again he seized her 
hand and kissed her dabbled fingers. 

" They're as cool as coral," he said. " Why are you 
wrinkling your nose at me ? Pauline, your eyes have 
vanished away ! " 

He plucked speedwell flowers and threw them into her 

k P . 

" When I haven't got you with me," he said, " I have to 
pretend that the speedwells are your eyes, and that the dog- 
roses are your cheeks." 

" And what is my nose ? " she asked, clapping her hands 
because she was sure he would not be able to think of any 
likeness. 

" Your nose is incomparable," he told her : and then he 
bent to his paddle and made the canoe fly along so that the 
water fluted to right and left of the bows. Ultimately they 
came to an island where all the afternoon they sat under a 
willow that was pluming with scanty shade a thousand 
forget-me-nots. 

Problems faded out upon the languid air, for Pauline was 
too well content with Guy's company to spoil the June 
peace. At last, however, she disengaged herself from his 
caressing arm and turned to him a serious and puzzled face. 
And when she was asking her question she knew how all the 
afternoon it had been fretting the back of her mind. 

" Why was Mother angry with me yesterday because I 
came into Plashers Mead to say good-night to you ? " 

" Was she angry ? " asked Guy. 

" Well, Monica saw us and got home before me and told 
her, and she was worried at what people would think. What 
would they think ? " 

Guy looked at her : then he shook his fist at the sky. 

" Oh, God, why must people try ..." 



184 Guy and Pauline 

She touched his arm. 

" Guy, don't swear. At least not . . . you'll call me 
superstitious and foolish," she murmured dismayfully, 
" but really it hurts me to hear you say that." 

" I don't think you anything but the most lovely and 
perfect thing on earth," he vowed passionately. " And it 
drives me mad that people should try to spoil your natural- 
ness . . . but still ... it was thoughtless of me." 

" But why, why ? " she asked. " That's the word Mother 
used about you. Only, why, why ? Why shouldn't I go 
and say good-night ? " 

" Dear, there was no harm in that. But you see, village 
people might say horrid things ... I was dreadfully to 
blame. Yes, of course I was." 

She flushed like a carnation at dawn ; and when Guy put 
his arms round her, she drew away. 

" Oh, Guy," she said brokenly. " I can't bear to think 
of being alone to-night. I shall be asking questions all the 
night long, I know I shall. It's like that horrid mill-pool." 

" Mill-pool ? " he echoed, looking at her in perplexity. 

She sighed and stared sadly down at the forget-me-nots. 

" You wouldn't understand : you'd think I was hysterical 
and stupid." 

Silently they left the island, and silently for some time 
they floated down the stream : then Pauline tossed her 
head bravely. 

" Love's rather cruel in a way." 

Guy looked aghast. 

" Pauline, you don't regret falling in love with me ? " 

" No, of course not, of course not. Oh, I love you more 
than I can say." 

When Guy's arms were round her again, Pauline thought 
that love could be as cruel as he chose ; she did not care for 
his cruelty. 



July 



GUY had been conscious ever since that rose-gold 
evening of the ragged robins of new elements having 
entered into his and Pauline's love for each other. 
All this month, however, June creeping upon them with 
verdurous and muffled steps had plotted to foil the least 
attempt on Guy's part to face the situation. Now the casual 
indiscretion of yesterday brought him sharply against it, 
and, as in the melancholy of the long Summer evening he 
contemplated the prospect, it appeared disquieting enough. 
In nine months he had done nothing : no quibbling could 
circumvent that deadly fact. For nine months he had lived 
in a house of his own, had accepted paternal help, had 
betrothed himself; and with every passing month he had 
done less to justify any single one of the steps. What were 
the remedies ? The house might be sub-let : at any rate 
his father's bounty came to an end this quarter : engaging 
himself formally to Pauline, he could throttle the Muse 
and become a schoolmaster, and in two years perhaps they 
could be married. It would be a wrench to abandon poetry 
and the hope of fame, indeed it would stagger the very 
foundations of his pride ; but rather than lose Pauline he 
would be content to remain the obscurest creature on earth. 
Literature might blazon his name : but her love blazoned 
his soul. Poetry was only the flame of life made visible, 
and if he were to sacrifice Pauline what gasping and ignoble 
rushlight of his own would he offer to the world ? 

Yet could he bear to leave Pauline herself ? The truth 
was he should have gone in March when she was in a way 
still remote and when like a star she would have shone as 

185 



1 86 Guy and Pauline 

brightly upon him absent or present. Now that star was 
burning in his heart with passionate fires and fevers and 
with quenchless ardours. It would be like death to leave 
her now ; were she absent from him her very name would 
be as a draught of liquid fire. More implacable, too, than 
his own torment of love might be hers. If he had gone in 
March, she would have been gently sad, but in those first 
months she still had other interests ; now if he parted from 
her she would merely all the time be growing older and 
they would have between them and their separation the 
intolerable wastage of their youth. Pauline had sur- 
rendered to love all the simple joys which had hitherto 
occupied her daily life ; and if she were divided from him, 
he feared for the fire that might consume her. It was he 
who had kindled it upon that rosaureate evening of mid- 
May, and it was he who was charged with her ultimate 
happiness. The accident of yesterday had reminded him 
sharply how far this was so, and a sense of the tremendous 
responsibility created by his love for her lay heavily upon 
Guy. He must never again give her family an occasion to 
remonstrate with her : he had been the one to blame, and 
he wished Mrs. Grey had spoken to him without saying 
anything to Pauline. How sad this long evening was, with 
reluctant day even now at half-past-nine o'clock still 
luminous in the West. 

Next morning there was a letter for Guy from his father. 

Fox HALL, 

GALTON, 

HANTS. 

,, , June 25. 

My dear Guy, 

I enclose the balance of the sum I gave you, and I hope 
it will have been enough to fay all the debts at which you 
hinted in your last letter. I do not think it would be fair U 



Summer 187 

you to hamper you with any more money. In fact, I trust you 
have already made up your mind not to ask for any. 

Tou'll be sorry to hear that Wilkinson has fallen ill and 
must go abroad at once. This makes it imperative for me to 
know at once if you are coming to help me next September. If 
you are, Pm afraid I must ask you to come here immediately 
and take Wilkinson's place this term* Pm sorry to drag you 
away from your country estate, but I cannot go to the bother 
of getting a temporary master and then begin again with you 
in September. It unsettles the boys too much. So if you want 
to come in September, you must come now. Tou will only miss 
a month of your house and I hope that during the seven weeks 
of the summer holidays you will be able to transfer yourself 
comfortably and abandon it for ever. 

Take a day to think over my proposal and telegraph your 
answer to-morrow. 

Tour affectionate father, 

John Hazlewood. 



It seemed fateful, the arrival of this letter on top of the 
doubts of last night. A day was not long in which to make 
up his mind. And yet, after all, a moment was enough. 
He ought to go : he ought to telegraph immediately before 
he could vacillate : he must not see Pauline first : he ought 
to accept this offer : farewell, fame ! 

Guy opened the front-door and walked into Birdwood 
come with a note from the Rectory. 

" Miss Pauline took me away from my work to give you 
this most particular and important and wait for the answer," 
said the gardener. 

Guy asked him to step inside and sse Miss Peasey, while 
he went upstairs to write the reply. 

" Miss Peasey doesn't think much of your variety, 
Birdwood. She says the garden is entirely blue." 



1 88 Guy and Pauline 

" What, all those dellyphiniums the Rector raised with 
his own hand and she don't like blue ! " 

Birdwood shook his head to express another defeat at 
the hands of incomprehensible woman. A moment later, 
as Guy went up to his room with Pauline's note, he heard 
him bellow in the kitchen : 

" What's this I hear, mum, about the garden being too 
blue ? " 

Then Guy closed the door of the library and shut out 
everything but the sound of the stream. 

My darling, 

I've got such exciting news. Mr. Delamere who's a 
friend, of ours has asked us to stay in his barge / mean he's 
lent us the barge for us to stay in. It's called the Naiad and 
it's on the Thames at Ladingford and when we've finished 
with it we're going to have it towed down to Oxford and come 
back from there by train. Mother asked if you would like to 
come and stay with us for a fortnight. Think of it, a fortnight ! 
Margaret is coming and Monica is going to stay with Father, 
who can't leave the garden. Oh, Guy, I'm wild with happi- 
ness. We're to start on the first of "July about. Do send me a 
little note by Birdwood. Of course I know there's no need. 
But 1 would love to have a little note especially as we shan't 
see each other till after lunch. 

Your own adoring 

v Pauline. 

Guy wrote the little note to Pauline and to his father he 
wrote a long letter explaining that it was impossible to give 
up what he was doing to be a schoolmaster. 

It was peerless weather when they set out in Godbold's 
wagonette on the nine miles to Ladingford. Guy was 
thrilled to be travelling like this with Mrs. Grey, Margaret 



Summer 189 

and Pauline. The girls were in flowered muslin dresses, 
seeming more airy than he had ever thought them : and 
the luggage piled up beside Godbold had the same exqui- 
site lightness, so that it appeared less like luggage than a 
store of birds' feathers. The thought of nearly having 
missed this summery pilgrimage made Guy catch his breath. 

They arrived at Ladingford toward tea-time and found 
the barge lying by an old stone bridge about a mile away 
from the village. Apart from the spire of Ladingford 
church nothing conspicuously broke the horizon of that 
flat green country stretching for miles to a shadowy range 
of hills. Whichever way they looked, these meads extended 
with here and there willows and elms ; close at hand was 
the quiet by-road that crossed the bridge and meandered 
over the low lands, as still and traffickless as the young 
Thames itself. 

The Naiad was painted peacock blue ; owing to the 
turreted poops the owner had superimposed and the balus- 
trade with rail of gilt gadroons, it almost had the look of 
a dismasted Elizabethan ship. 

" Anything more you'll want ? " Godbold enquired. 

" Nothing more, thank you, Mr. Godbold," said Mrs. 
Grey. " Charming . . . charming . . . such a pleasant 
drive. Good afternoon, Mr. Godbold." 

The carrier turned his horse ; and when the sound of 
the wagonette had died away, there was silence except 
where the stream lapped against the barge and where very 
far off some rooks were cawing. 

Guy and Pauline had resolved that they would give 
Margaret no chance of calling them selfish during this 
fortnight ; and since they were together all the time, it 
was much easier now not to wish to escape from everybody. 
The first week went by in such a perfection of delight as 
Guy had scarcely thought was possible. Indeed it remained 
ultimately unimaginable, this dream life on the Naiad. 



190 Guy and Pauline 

A pleasant woman in a sunbonnet came to cook breakfast 
and dinner ; and Pauline and Margaret went to Ladingford 
and bought sunbonnets, a pink one ' for Pauline and for 
Margaret one of watchet blue. In the fresh mornings Guy 
and the sisters wandered idly over the meads ; but in the 
afternoon Margaret generally read a book in the shade 
while Guy and Pauline went for walks, walks that ended 
always in sitting by the river's edge and telling each other 
the tale of their love. The nights with a clear moon waxing 
to the full were entrancing. There was a small piano on 
the barge, the notes of which had been brought by damp 
almost to the timbre of an exhausted spinet. It served 
however for Mrs. Grey to accompany Pauline while she 
played on a violin simple tunes. Guy used to lie back on 
deck and count the stars above Pauline's pavans and galliards: 
then from the silence that followed he would see her coming, 
shadowy, light as the dewfall, to sit close beside him, to sit, 
her hand in his, for an hour while the moon climbed the 
sky and the fern-owls croaked in their hunting. And as 
the romantic climax of the day, it was wonderful to fall 
asleep with the knowledge that Pauline slept nearer to him 
than she had ever slept before. 

" Guy ought to go and see the Lamberts at the Manor," 
Mrs. Grey announced at the end of the second week. " I've 
written to Mrs. Lambert. It will be interesting for him." 

Guy was thrilled by the notion of visiting Ladingford 
Manor, which had been one of the great fortresses of 
romance held against the devastating commercial morality 
of the Victorian prime with its science and sciolism, and 
which possessed already some of the fabulous appeal of the 
mediaeval songs and tapestries John Lambert had created 
there. An invitation came presently to walk over any 
afternoon. Margaret said at first she would not go ; but 
Guy who was in a condition of excited reverence declared 
she must come ; and so the three of them set out across a 



Summer 191 

path in the meads that Guy populated with romantic 
figures of the mid- Victorian days. On this stile Swinburne 
may have sat ; here Burne- Jones may have looked back at 
the sky ; and surely it were reasonable to suppose that 
Rossetti might have tied up his shoe on this big stone by 
this brook, even as Guy was tying up his shoe now. Soon 
they saw a group of elms and the smoke of clustered chimneys; 
there golden-grey in front of them stood Ladingford 
Manor. 

" There's the sort of stillness of fame about it," Guy 
whispered. 

He wondered if Mrs. Lambert would now resemble at 
all the famous pictures of her he had seen. And would she 
talk familiarly of the famous people she had known ? They 
came to the gate, entering the garden along a flagged path 
on either side of which runnels flowed between borders of 
trim box. Mrs. Lambert was sitting in a yew parlour under 
a blue silk umbrella that was almost a pavilion, and she 
received them with many comments upon the energy of 
walking so far on this hot afternoon. 

" You would like some beer, I'm sure. There is a bell 
in that mulberry tree. If you toll the bell, Charlotte will 
bring you beer." 

Guy tolled the bell, and Charlotte arrived with a pewter 
tray and pewter mugs of beer. Margaret would not be 
thirsty, but Pauline was afraid of hurting Mrs. Lambert's 
feelings, and she pretended to drink, lancing blue eyes at 
Guy over the rim of her mug. 

" It's home-brewed beer," said Mrs. Lambert placidly, 
and then she leaned back and sighed at the dome of her 
blue silk umbrella. She was still very beautiful, and Guy 
had a sensation that he was sitting at the feet of Helen or 
Lady Flora the lovely Roman. She was old now, but 
she wore about her like an aureole the dignity of all those 
inspirations of famous dead painters. 



192 Guy and Pauline 

" Home-brewed beer," Mrs. Lambert repeated dreamily, 
and seemed to fall asleep in the past ; while in the bee- 
drowsed yew parlour Pauline, Margaret and Guy sat watch- 
ing her. The throat of Sidonia the sorceress was hers ; the 
heavy lids of Hipparchia were hers ; the wrist of Erm en- 
garde or Queen Blanche was hers ; and the pewter tray on 
the grass at her feet held Circe's wine. 

Then Mrs. Lambert woke up and asked if they would 
like to see the house. 

" Toll the bell in the mulberry-tree, and Charlotte will 
come. You must excuse my getting up." 

They followed Charlotte round the rooms of Ladingford 
Manor. There on the walls were the tapestries that had 
inspired John Lambert, and there were the tapestries even 
more beautiful that himself had woven. On the tables 
were the books John Lambert had printed, which gave 
positively the aspect of being treasures by the discretion of 
their external appearance. In other rooms hung the 
original pictures of hackneyed mezzotints ; and how rare 
they looked now with their velvety pigments of emerald 
and purple, of orange, cinnabar and scarlet glowing in the 
tempered sunlight. Margaret, as she moved from room to 
room, seemed with her weight of dusky hair and fastidious 
remoteness to belong to the company of lovely women 
whose romances filled these splendid scenes; but Pauline 
was life, irradiating with her joy each picture and giving to 
it the complement of its own still beauty. 

" Mrs. Lambert keeps very well, miss," said Charlotte as 
they came out again from the house. " But of course she 
doesn't get about much now. Yet we can't really com- 
plain, especially with this fine weather." 

" Would you like some more beer ? " Mrs. Lambert 
asked, when they joined her again in the yew parlour. 

They said they were no longer thirsty ; and, having 
thanked her for the pleasures of the visit, they left her 



Summer 193 

in the past, returning by the pale green path across the 
meadows to where the Naiad lay by the old bridge. 

" Oh, I did want some tea," sighed Margaret. 

" I love Mrs. Lambert," cried Pauline, dancing through 
the meads. " Wasn't it touching of her to offer Margaret 
beer ? Oh, Guy, when we're married and when you die and 
I receive young poets at Flashers Mead, shall I offer their 
future sisters-in-law home-brewed beer ? Oh, but I'm sure 
I shall forget to offer them anything." 

Was there any reason, thought Guy, why Flashers Mead 
should not become a second Ladingford Manor ? Friends 
long ago took that house together : perhaps Michael Fane 
would after all see the necessity of a second Ladingford 
Manor and share Flashers Mead with himself and Pauline. 
After this visit it was impossible to contemplate the prospect 
of being a schoolmaster : it was impossible to imagine 
Pauline as a schoolmaster's wife. At all costs their love must 
be sustained on the pinnacle of romance where now it 
stood. Margaret would sympathize with his desire to set 
Pauline in beauty ; she, dreading the idea of marrying an 
Indian engineer, would understand how impossible it was 
to make Pauline the wife of a schoolmaster. Such a declen- 
sion must somehow be avoided. It were better they should 
wait three years for marriage, five years, fourteen years as 
Tennyson had waited, rather than that he should make the 
monstrous surrender he had been so near to making. At 
least he would put himself and his work to the test and in 
a year he would be able to publish his first volume of poems. 
Perhaps his father would realize then that he deserved to 
marry Pauline. After all they were together : there were 
maddening restrictions of course, but they were together. 
This visit to Ladingford Manor must be accepted as an omen 
to persevere in his original intention ; for he had been 
granted the vision of a perfected beauty, which he knew, 
by reading the lives of the men whc made it, had only 



194 Guy and Pauline 



been achieved after desperate struggles and disappoint- 
ments. This enchanted time on the Naiad must be the 
anticipated reward of a tremendous industry when he got 
back to Wychford. He would no more break the rules and 
fret at the restrictions made for him and Pauline. Every 
hour when they were together should henceforth be doubled 
in the intensity of its capacity for being enjoyed. One 
thing only he would demand, that in August they should 
be formally and openly engaged. Otherwise when Autumn 
came and made it impossible to go on the river, they would 
be kept to the Rectory ; and the few hours of her company 
he would have must at least be free. He would talk to 
Margaret about it, so that she might use her influence to 
procure this favour. Then he would write and tell his 
father. All would be easy ; Ladingford had inspired him. 
He beheld the visit in retrospect more and more clearly 
as an exhortation to endure against whatever the world 
should offer him to betray his ambition. Yet was Pauline 
the world ? No, certainly Pauline had no kinship with the 
world, and therefore he was the more straightly bound to 
disregard the voice of material prosperity. She had joked 
about herself as a Mrs. Lambert of the future ; but behind 
the lightness of her jest had stood confidence in himself and 
in his fame. Should he imprison that spirit of mirth and 
fire in the husk of a schoolmaster's wife ? 

The second week passed : the time at Ladingford was 
over, and early in the morning they must start for the 
journey of thirty miles down to Oxford. The dapple-grey 
horse that would tow the barge was already arrived and 
now stood munching the long grass in the shade of the 
bridge : the swallows were high in the golden air of the 
afternoon : the long-purples on the banks of the young 
river seemed to await reproachfully the disturbance of their 
tranquillity. To-morrow came : the dapple-grey horse 
was harnessed to the rope : and then slowly, slowly the 



Summer 195 

Naiad glided forward, leaving astern the grey bridge, the 
long-purples on the bank and the swallows high in the silver 
air of the morning. There was not yet any poignancy of 
parting ; for the spire of Ladingford church remained so 
long in sight that scarcely did they notice the slow recession ; 
and often, when they thought it was gone, the winding 
river would show it to them again ; and in the end, when 
really it seemed to have vanished, by standing on the poop 
they could still make out where now it pierced thinly the 
huge sky. Moreover the contentment of that imperceptible 
evanescence and of their dreaming progress down the young 
Thames was plenary, lulling all regrets for a peace that 
seemed not yet truly to be lost. The hay in the meadows 
along the banks was mostly carried, and the cattle were 
magically fused with the July sunlight, curiously de- 
materialized like the creatures of a mirage. If a human 
voice was audible, it was audible deep in the green distance 
and belonged to the landscape as gently as the murmurous 
water scalloping the bows. Sometimes indeed they would 
pass late mowers who leaned upon their scythes and waved 
good fortune to the journey, but mostly it was all an empti- 
ness of air and grass. 

" If only this young Thames flowed on for ever," said Guy. 

He and Pauline were leaning over the rail of the barge, 
and Guy felt a sudden impulse to snatch at the bank rich 
in that moment with yellow loosestrife, and by his action 
arrest for ever the progress of the barge, so that for ever 
they would stay like the lovers on a Grecian urn. 

" And really," Guy went on, as already the banks of 
yellow loosestrife were become banks of long-purples, 
" there is no reason why for us in a way this river should not 
flow on for ever. Dear, everything had seemed so perish- 
able before I found you. Pauline, you don't think I ought 
to surrender my intention, do you ? I mean, you don't 
think I ought to go away from Plashers Mead ? " 



196 Guy and Pauline 



Guy went on to tell her about the decision he had taken 
on the day the visit to Ladingford was arranged. 

" But it would have been dreadful to miss this time," 
Pauline declared. 

" Oh, I felt it would be impossible," he agreed. " But 
even if our marriage is postponed for another year, you do 
think I ought to stick it out here, don't you ? And really, 
you know, few lovers can have such wonderful hours as the 
hours we do have." 

Easily she reassured him with her confidence in the 
Tightness of his decision : easily she assuaged the ache of 
any lingering doubt with the proclamation of that inevit- 
able triumph in the end. 

" But we must be engaged openly," said Guy. " You 
know, I shall be twenty-three next month. Do you think 
we can be engaged properly in August ? " 

" Mother promised in Spring," said Pauline. " Why 
don't you talk to her about it ? Why don't you talk to her 
about it now ? She loves you to talk to her." 

He looked round to where Mrs. Grey was sitting in a 
deck-chair ; evidently by the rhythmic motion of her 
fingers she was restating to herself a tune which had formerly 
pleased her, as the barge glided on past a scene that changed 
perceptibly only in details of flowers and trees, while the 
great sky and the green hollow land and the blue distances 
rested immutable. Guy came and sat beside her. 

" I've never enjoyed a fortnight so much in my life," he 
said. 

She smiled at him, but did not speak, for whatever 
quartet she was restating had to be finished first. Soon the 
last noiseless bars played themselves and she turned round 
to his conversation. 

" Mrs. Grey, do you think that Pauline and I can be 
engaged openly next month ? It won't mean, if we are, 
that I shall be worrying to see her more often. In fact I'm 



Summer 197 

sure I shall worry less. But I want to tell my father, so that 
when he comes here he'll be able to see Pauline. He's a 
conventional sort of man, and I don't think he'd grasp an 
engagement such as ours is at present. Besides, I want to talk 
to the Rector, because I feel that now he regards the whole 
thing as a childish game. So can it be formal next month ? " 

Mrs. Grey sat back, so silent that Guy wondered if she 
had listened to a word he had been saying. He paused for 
a moment, and then as she did not reply, he went on : 

" I also want to say how sorry I am that I asked Pauline 
to come into Plashers Mead to say good-night to me last 
month. I didn't realize, until she told me you were angry 
about it, what a foolish thing I'd done. I don't want you 
to think that, if we are formally engaged, I shall be doing 
stupid things like that all the time. Really, Mrs. Grey, I 
would always be very thoughtful." 

" Oh, yes," she answered in her nervous way. " Oh, 
yes. I understood it to have been a kind of carelessness. 
But I had to speak to Pauline about it, because she is so 
very impulsive. It's the sort of thing I might have done 
myself when I was a girl. At least of course I shouldn't 
because the Rector ... yes ... charming . . . charming 
... yes .. .1 really think you might be engaged next 
month. It's your birthday next month, isn't it ? " 

" Thank you more than I can thank you," said Guy. 

Mrs. Grey waved to Pauline, who drew close. 

" Pauline darling, I've thought of such a nice birthday 
present for Guy . . . yes . . . charming, charming birth- 
day present . . . yes. . . for you two to be engaged." 

Pauline threw her arms round her mother's neck ; and 
Guy in his happiness noticed at that moment how Margaret 
was sitting by herself on the poop in the stern. He was 
wrenched by a sudden compunction, and asked Pauline if he 
should not go and tell Margaret. 

" Charming of Guy ... yes ... charming," Mrs. 



198 Guy and Pauline 

Grey enthusiastically exclaimed. " Now I call that really 
charming, and Pauline stays with me." 

Guy went up the companion and asked Margaret if she 
were particularly anxious to be alone. She seemed to pull 
herself from a day-dream, as she turned to assure him she 
did not at all particularly want to be alone. Guy announced 
his good news, and Margaret offered him her slim hand with 
a kind of pathetic grace that moved him very much. 

" I think you deserve it," she said. " For you've both 
been so sweet to me all this fortnight. I expect you think 
I don't notice, but I do ... always." 

" Margaret," said Guy. "If this summer Pauline and I 
have seemed to run away from people ..." 

" Oh, but you have," Margaret interrupted. " I don't 
think I should find excuses, if I were you, for perhaps it's 
natural." 

" I've fancied very often," he said, " that you've thought 
we were behaving selfishly." 

" I think all lovers are selfish," she answered. " Only 
in your case you began in such an idyllic way that I thought 
you were going to be a wonderful exception. Guy, I do 
most dreadfully want you not to spoil in any way the per- 
fectly beautiful thing that Pauline and you in love is. You 
won't, will you ? " 

" Have I yet ? " asked Guy in rather a dismayed 
voice. 

" Do you want me to be frank ? Yes, of course you do, 
and anyway I must be frank," said Margaret. " Well, 
sometimes you have I don't mean in wanting always to 
be alone or in asking her in to Plashers Mead to say good- 
night. No, I don't mean in those ways so much. Of course 
they make me feel a little sad, but smaller things than that 
make me more uneasy." * 

" You mean," said Guy as she paused, " my staying on 
here and apparently doing nothing ? But, Margaret, really 



Summer 199 

I can't leave Pauline to be a schoolmaster, and surely you of 
all people can understand that ? " 

" Oh, no, I wasn't thinking of that," said Margaret. 
" I think in fact you're right to stay here and keep at what 
you're trying to do. If it was ever worth doing, it must 
be doubly worth doing now. Oh, no, the only criticism I 
shall make is of something so small that you'll wonder how 
I can think it even worth mentioning. Guy, you know the 
photograph of Pauline which Mother used to have and 
which she gave you ? " 

Guy nodded. 

" Well, I happened to see it on the table by your bunk, 
and I wonder why you've taken it out of its simple little 
wooden frame and put it in a silver one ? " 

Guy was taken aback, and when he asked himself why he 
had done this, he could not find a reason. Now that Mar- 
garet had spoken of it, the consciousness of the exchange 
flooded him with shame as for an unforgivable piece of 
vandalism. Why indeed had he bought that silver frame 
and put the old wooden frame away, and where was the old 
wooden frame ? In one of the drawers in his desk, he 
thought ; resolving this very night to restore it to the 
photograph and fling the usurper into the river. 

" I can't think why I did," he stammered to Margaret. 

" You've no idea how much this has worried me," she 
said. " I never had any doubts about your appreciation of 
Pauline." 

" And now you have," said Guy, biting his lip with 
mortification. 

The landscape fading from the stern of the barge op- 
pressed him with the sadness of irreparable acts that are 
committed heedlessly, but after which nothing is ever quite 
the same. He wished he could tear to pieces that silver 
frame. 

" No, I won't have any doubts," said Margaret, offering 



200 Guy and Pauline 

him her hand again and smiling. " You'veT taken my 
criticism so sweetly that the change can't symbolize so much 
as I feared." 

It was very well to be forgiven like this, Guy thought, 
but the memory of his blunder was still hot upon his cheek 
and he felt a deep humiliation at the treachery of his taste. 
He had meant, when he came here to talk to Margaret, to 
ask her about herself and Richard, to display a captivating 
sympathy and restore to their pristine affection her rela- 
tions with him, which latterly had seemed to diverge some- 
what from one another. Now haunted by that silver frame, 
which with every moment of thought appeared more and 
more insistently the vile stationer's gewgaw that it was, 
Guy did not dare to approach Margaret in the security of 
an old intimacy. 

It was she, however, with her grace who healed the 
wound. 

" You're not hurt with me for speaking about that little 
thing ? " she asked. " You see, you are in a way my 
brother." 

" Margaret, you are a dear ! " 

And then recurred to him as if from Ladingford Manor 
the lines of Christina Rossetti, which he half whispered to 
her: 

For there is no friend like a sister 
In calm or stormy weather ; 
To cheer one if one goes astray, 
To lift one if one totters down, 
To strengthen whilst one stands. 

They had the sharper emotion for Guy because he had 
neither brothers nor sisters of his own ; and that this 
lovely girl beside him on this dreaming barge should be 
his sister gave to the landscape one more incommunicable 
beauty. 



Summer 201 

And so all day they glided down the young Thames ; 
and when Guy had sat long enough with Margaret in the 
stern, he sat with Pauline at the prow ; and about twilight 
they reached Oxford, whence they came to Shipcot by train 
and drove through five miles of moonlight back to Wych- 
ford. 



August 



PAULINE and Guy with their formal engagement 
in sight were careful to give no excuse for a post- 
ponement by abusing their privileges. The river 
was now much overgrown with weeds, and in the last week 
of July rough weather set in which kept them in the 
Rectory a good deal on the occasions when they met. Guy 
too was harder at work than he had been all the Summer. 
The fact of being presently engaged in the eyes of the world 
was sufficiently exciting for Pauline to console her for the 
shorter time spent with Guy. Moreover she was so grateful 
to her family for not opposing the publication of the 
engagement that she tried particularly to impress them with 
the sameness of herself, notwithstanding her being in love 
with Guy. It happened therefore that the old manner of 
existence at the Rectory reasserted itself for a while ; the 
music in the evenings, the mornings in the garden, every- 
thing indeed that could make the family suppose that she 
was set securely in the heart of their united life. 

" When you and Margaret marry," Monica announced, 
one afternoon when the three sisters were in their nursery, 
" I really think I shall become a nun." 

" But we can't all leave Father and Mother," Pauline 
exclaimed shocked at the deserted prospect. 

" Now isn't that like people in love ? " said Monica. 

" Ah, but anyway I shall only be living at Plashers Mead," 
Pauline went on. " So they won't be left entirely alone." 

" And as I probably shan't ever make up my mind to be 
married," Margaret added, " and as I've yet to meet the 
Mother Superior whom Monica could stand for more than 



Summer 20 



o 



a week it seems probable that everything at the Rectory will 
go on pretty much the same." 

" Margaret, you will marry. I can't think why you talk 
like that. If you don't intend to marry Richard, you ought 
to tell him so now, and not keep him any longer in un- 
certainty." 

Pauline realized that Margaret did not like this direct 
attack, but it was so rarely that Margaret made it possible 
even to allude to Richard that she had to take the oppor- 
tunity. 

" I don't think I've interfered much with you and Guy," 
said Margaret. " Is it necessary that you should settle my 
affairs ? " 

" Oh, don't speak so unkindly to me, Margaret. I'm not 
trying to interfere. And anyway you do criticize Guy and 
me. Both you and Monica criticize us." 

" Only when you tell us we don't understand about 
love." 

" Well, you don't." 

" All of us don't want to be in love quite so obviously as 
you," said Margaret. " And Monica agrees with me." 

Monica nodded. 

" Well, it's my character," said Pauline. " I always knew 
that when I did fall in love, I should fall dreadfully deep in 
love. I don't want to be thinking all the while about my 
personal dignity. I adore Guy. Why shouldn't I show it ? 
Margaret loves Richard, but simply because she's so self- 
conscious she can't bear to show it. You call me morbid, 
Margaret, but I call you much more morbid than me." 

Yet, though she resented them at the time, Margaret and 
Monica's continual demands for Pauline to be vigilant over 
her impulsiveness had an effect ; and during all the month 
before they were engaged she tried when she was with Guy 
to acquire a little of the attitude her sisters desired. Circum- 
stances by keeping them for a good deal of the time at the 



204 Guy and Pauline 

Rectory made this easy ; and Guy exalted by the notion of 
the formal troth never made it difficult. 

Pauline tried to recapture more of the old interests of 
life at Wychford, and she was particularly attentive to Miss 
Verney, going often to see her in the little house at the top 
of the hill and sitting with her in the oblong garden when- 
ever the August sun showed itself. 

" I'm sure I'm sorry it's going to be a protracted engage- 
ment," said Miss Verney. " They are apt to place a great 
strain upon people. I'm sure when I read in The Times 
all about people's wills, though I always feel a trifle vulgar 
and inquisitive when I do so, I often say to myself 4 Well, 
really, it seems a pity that some people should have so much 
more money than is quite necessary.' Only yesterday 
evening I read of a gentleman called Somethingheim who 
left .507,106 145. and some odd pence, and really, I 
thought to myself, how much nicer it would have looked 
without the seven thousand one hundred and six pounds 
fourteen shillings and odd pence. And really I had quite 
a fanciful time imagining that I received a letter pre- 
senting it to me on account of some services my father 
rendered at Sebastopol, which at the time were overlooked. 
Seven thousand pounds I thought I would present to you 
and Mr. Guy Hazlewood, if you would allow me ; a hundred 
pounds to the church ; six pounds I had the idea of devoting 
to the garden ; and the fourteen shillings and sevenpence, 
I remember now it was sevenpence, I thought would make 
such a pleasant surprize for my servant Mabel, who is really 
a most good-hearted girl, tactful with the cats and not too 
fond of young men." 

" How sweet of you, Miss Verney, to think of such a nice 
present," said Pauline, who as she watched the old maid's 
grave air of patronage began almost to believe that the 
money had been given to her. 

" No, indeed, don't thank me at all, for I cannot imagine 



Summer 205 

anything that would give me such true pleasure. Let me 
see. Seven thousand pounds at four per cent, which I 
think is as much as you could expect to get safely. That's 
seventy times four ^280 a year." 

" And Guy has some money 150 or 115 or it may be 
only 50." 

" Let us call it a hundred pounds," said Miss Verney. 
" For it would be more prudent not to exaggerate. 380 
a year. And I've no doubt the Rector on his side would be 
able to manage twenty pounds. 400 a year. Surely a very 
nice little sum on which to marry. Oh, certainly quite a 
pleasant little sum." 

" Only the gentleman hasn't given you the seven thousand 
pounds," said Pauline. 

" No, exactly, he has not. That's just where it is," Miss 
Verney agreed. 

" But even if he hasn't," said Pauline, springing up and 
kissing her, " that doesn't prevent your being my dear 
Miss Verney ; and so, thank you seven times for every 
pound you were going to give me." 

" My dear child, it would be, as I believe I remarked, a 
pleasure. I have the greatest dread of long engagements. 
My own, you know, lasted five years ; and at the end of the 
time a misunderstanding arose with my father, who being 
a sailor had a hasty temper. This very misunderstanding 
arose over money. I'm sure the person who invented money 
was a great curse to the world, and deserved to be pecked 
at by that uncomfortable eagle much more than that poor 
fellow Prometheus of whom I was reading in a mythology 
book that was given to me as a prize for spelling and which 
I came across last night in an old trunk. My father declared 
that William . . . his name, I believe I've never told you 
his name, his name was William Bankes spelt with an E. 
Now, my own being Daisy after the ship which my father 
commanded at the moment when my poor mother . . . 



2o6 Guy and Pauline 

when in fact I was born, my own name being Daisy, I was 
always a little doubtful as to whether people would laugh 
at the conjunction with Bankes, but being spelt with an E, 
I daresay it wouldn't have been uncomfortably remarked 
upon. My father said that William had deceived him 
about some money. Well, whatever it was, William broke 
off our engagement ; and though all his presents were 
returned to him and all his letters, the miniature fell out of 
my hand when I was wrapping it up. I think I must have 
been a little upset at the moment, for I am not usually 
careless with any kind of ornament. And when I picked it 
up, it was so cracked that I could scarcely bring myself to 
return it, feeling in a way ashamed of my carelessness and 
also wishing to keep something of William's by me. I have 
often blamed myself for doing this, and no doubt if the 
incident had occurred now when I am older, I should have 
acted more properly. However, at the time I was only 
twenty-four : so possibly there was a little excuse for what 
I did." 

Miss Verney stopped and stared out of her window : all 
about the room the cats were purring in the sunbeams : 
Pauline had a dozen plans racing through her mind for 
finding William and bringing him back like Peter in Mrs. 
GaskelTs book. She was just half-way up the hill with 
fluttering heart, longing to see Miss Verney's joy at the 
return of her William . . . when tea tinkled in and the 
dream vanished. 

When Pauline told Guy about Miss Verney's seven 
thousand pounds he was rather annoyed and said he was 
sorry that he and she were already an object of charity in 
Wychford. 

" Oh, Guy," she protested, " you mustn't take poor 
Miss Verney too seriously ; but it was so sweet of her to 
want to set us up with an income." 

" Besides I have got a hundred and fifty," said Guy. 



Summer 207 

" Oh, Guy dear, don't look so cross. Please don't be 
cross and dreadfully in earnest about anything so stupid as 
money." 

" I feel everybody will be pitying you for becoming 
engaged to a penniless pretender like me," he sighed. 

" Don't be so stupid, Guy. If they pity anybody, they'll 
pity you for having a wife so utterly vague about practical 
things as I am. But I won't be, Guy, when we're married." 

" Oh, my own, I wish we were married now. God ! I 
wish, I wish we were 1 " 

He had clasped her to him, and she drew away. Guy 
begged her pardon for swearing : but really she had drawn 
away because his eyes were so bright and wild that she was 
momentarily afraid of him. 

August kept wet and stormy ; but on the nineteenth, the 
day before Guy's birthday and the vigil of their betrothal, 
the sun came out with the fierceness of late Summer. 
Pauline went with Margaret and Monica for a walk in the 
cornfields, because she and Guy, although it was one of their 
trysting days, had each resolved to keep it strictly empty of 
the other's company, so that after a kind of fast they should 
meet on the great day itself with a deeper welcome. Pauline 
made a wreath of poppies for Margaret and for Monica a 
wreath of cornflowers ; but her sisters could find no flower 
that became Pauline on this vigil, nor did she mind, for 
to-morrow was beckoning to her across the wheat and she 
gladly went ungarlanded. 

" I wonder why I feel as if this were our last walk to- 
gether," said Margaret. 

" Oh, Margaret, how can you say a horrid thing like 
that," Pauline exclaimed ; and to-morrow drooped before 
her in the dusty path. 

" No, darling, it's not horrid. But, oh, you don't know 
how much I mind that in a way the Rectory as it always has 
been will no longer be the Rectory." 






2o8 Guy and Pauline 

Pauline vowed she would go home, not caring on whose 
wheat she trampled, if Margaret talked any more like that. 

" I can't think why you want to make me sad," she pro- 
tested. " What difference after all will this announcement 
of our engagement bring ? I shall wear a ring, that's all ! " 

" But everybody will know you belong to Guy," said 
Margaret, " instead of to all of us." 

" Oh, my dears, my dears," Pauline vowed. " I shall 
always belong to you as well. Don't make me feel un- 
happy." 

" You don't really feel unhappy," said Monica in her 
wise way. " Because every morning I can hear you singing 
to yourself long before you ought to be awake." 

Then her sisters kissed her, and through the golden corn- 
fields they walked silently home. 

When Pauline was in bed that night her mother lingered 
after Margaret and Monica had left her room. 

" Are you glad, darling, you are going to give Guy such 
a charming birthday present to-morrow ? " she asked. 

" It's your present," said Pauline. " Because I couldn't 
possibly give myself unless you wanted me to. You know 
that, don't you, Mother ? You do know that, don't you ? " 

" I want you to be my happy Pauline," her mother 
whispered. " And I think that with Guy you will be my 
happy Pauline." 

" Oh, Mother, I shall, I shall. I love him so. Mother, 
what about Father ? He simply won't say anything to me. 
To-day I helped him with transplanting, and I've been 
helping a lot lately . . . with the daffodil bulbs when we 
came back from Ladingford, and all sorts of things. But 
he simply won't say a word." 

" Francis is always like that," her mother replied. " Even 
when he first was in love with me. Really, he never pro- 
posed ... we somehow got married. I think the best thing 
will be for you and Guy to go up to his room after lunch 



Summer 209 

to-morrow, before he goes out in the garden ; then you can 
show him your ring." 

" Oh, Mother, tell me what ring it is that Guy has found 
for me." 

" It's charming . . . charming . . . charming," said her 
mother enthusiastically. 

" Oh, I won't ask, but I'm longing to see it. Mother, 
what do you think it will be ? Oh, but you know, so I 
mustn't ask you to guess. Oh, I do hope Margaret and 
Monica will like it." 

" It's charming . . . charming . . . and now go to 
sleep." 

Her mother kissed her good-night and when she was gone, 
Pauline took from under her pillow the crystal ring. 

" However nice the new one is," she said, " I shall 
always love you best, you secret ring." 

Then she got out of bed and took from her desk the 
manuscript book bound with a Siennese end-paper of 
shepherds and shepherdesses and rosy bowers, that was to 
be her birthday present to him. 

" What poetry will he write in you about me, you funny 
empty book ? " she asked, and inscribed it : 

For Guy with all of his Pauline 1 s love. 

The book was left open for the roaming letters to dry 
themselves without a smudge, because there was never any 
blotting-paper in this desk that was littered with childish 
things. Then Pauline went to the window ; but a gusty 
wind of late Summer was rustling the leaves and she could 
not stay dreaming on the night as in May she had dreamed. 
There was something faintly disquieting about this hollow 
wind which was like an envoy threatening the trees with the 
furious winter to come, and Pauline shivered. 

" Summer will soon be gone," she whispered, " but 
nowadays it doesn't matter, because all days will be happy." 



210 Guy and Pauline 

On this thought she fell asleep, and woke to a sunny 
morning, though the sky was a turbid blue across which 
swollen clouds were steadily moving. She lay watchful, 
wondering if this quiet time of six o'clock would hold the 
best of Guy's birthday and if by eight o'clock the sky would 
not be quite grey. It was a pity she and Guy had not 
arranged to meet early, so that before the day was spoiled 
they should have possessed themselves of its prime. Pauline 
could no longer stay in bed with this sunlight, the lucid 
shadows of which caught from the wistaria leaves were 
flickering all about the room. She must go to the window 
and salute his birthday. Suddenly she recalled something 
Guy had once said of how he pictured her always moving 
round her room in the morning like a small white cloud. 
Blushful at the intimacy of the thought she looked at 
herself in the glass. 

" You're his. You're his," she whispered to her image. 
" Are you a white goose as Margaret said you were ? Or are 
you the least bit like a cloud ? " 

Guy came and knelt by her in church that morning, and 
she took his action as the sign he offered to the world of 
holding her now openly. In the great church they were 
kneeling ; rose-fired both of them by the crimson gowns of 
the high saints along the clerestory ; and then Guy slipped 
upon her finger the new ring he had bought for their 
engagement, a pink topaz set in the old fashion, which 
burned there like the heart of the rosy fire in which they 
knelt suffused. 

Breakfast was to be in the garden, as all Rectory birth- 
days were except Monica's which fell in January ; and since 
the day had ripened to a kind of sweet sultriness as of a 
pear that has hung too long upon a wall, it was grateful 
to sit in the shade of the weeping- willow by the side of the 
lily-pond. To each floating cup, tawny or damasked white 
or deepest cramoisy, the Rector called their attention. 



Summer 



211 



Nymphaeas they were to him, fountain divinities that one 
after the other he flattered with courteous praise. When 
Guy had been given all his presents, Pauline saw her father 
put a hand in his coat and pull out a small book. 

" Father has remembered Guy's birthday," she cried 
clapping her hands. " Now I do call that wonderful. 
Francis, you're wonderful. You're really wonderful." 

" Pauline, Pauline, don't get too excited," her mother 
begged. " And please don't call your father Francis in the 
garden." 

" Propertius," Guy murmured, shyly opening the book ; 
but when he was going to say something about that Roman 
lover to the Rector, the Rector had vanished. 

After breakfast Pauline and Guy walked in the inner 
wall-garden that was now brilliant with ten thousand deep- 
throated gladioli. 

" Pauline," said Guy, " this morning I learnt Milton's 
sonnet on his twenty-third birthday, and I feel rather 
worried. Listen, 

How soon hath Time, the subtle thief of youth., 
Stol'n on his wing my three-and-twentieth year ! 
My hasting days fly on with full career. 
But my late Spring no bud or blossom shew'th. 

Well, now, if Milton felt like that," he sighed, "what 
about me ? Pauline, tell me again that you believe in me." 

" Of course I believe in you," she vowed. 

" And I am right to stay here ? " he asked eagerly. 

" Oh, Guy, of course, of course." 

" You see, I shall be writing to my father to-night to tell 
him of our engagement, and I don't want to feel you have 
the least doubt of me. You haven't, have you ? Never ? 
Never ? There must never have been the slightest doubt, 
or I shall doubt." 

" Dearest Guy," she said, " if you changed anything for 



212 Guy and Pauline 

me, our love wouldn't be the best thing for you, and I only 
want my love to be my love, if it is the love you want, Guy. 
I'm not clever ; you know. I'm really stupid, but I can 
love. Oh, I can love you more than anyone, I think. I 
know, I know I can. Guy, I do adore you. But if I felt you 
were thinking you ought to go away on account of me, I 
would have to give you up." 

" You couldn't give me up," he proclaimed, holding her 
straight before him with looks that were hungry for one 
word or one gesture that could help him to tell her what 
he wanted to say. 

" Does my love worry you ? " she whispered, faint with 
all the responsibility she felt for the future of this lover 
of hers. 

" Pauline, my love for you is my life." 

But quickly they glided away from passion to discuss 
projects of simple happiness ; and walking together a long 
while under the trees beyond the wall-garden, they were 
surprized to hear the gong sound for lunch before they had 
finished the decoration of Flashers Mead as it should be for 
their wedding-tide. Back in the sunlight, they were dazzled 
by the savage colour of the gladioli in the hot August noon 
and found them rather gaudy after the fronded half-light 
where nothing had disturbed the outspread vision of a 
future triumphantly attainable. 

After lunch her mother called Pauline aside and told her 
that now was the moment to impress the Rector with the 
fact of her engagement. The tradition was that her father 
went up to his library for half-an-hour every day in order 
to rest after lunch before he sallied out into the garden or 
the parish. As usual his rest was consisting of standing on 
a chair and dragging down old numbers of The Botanical 
Magazine or heavy volumes of The Garden in order to 
search out a fact in connection with some plant. When 
Pauline and Guy presented themselves the Rector gave 






Summer 213 

them a cordial invitation to enter, and Pauline fancied 
that he was being quite exceptionally kindly in his tone 
toward Guy. 

" Well, and what can I do for you two ? " he asked, as 
he lit his long clay pipe and sat upright in his old leather 
armchair to regard them. 

" Father," said Pauline coming straight to the heart of 
her subject. " Have you seen my engagement ring ? " 

She offered him the pink topaz to admire, and he bowed 
his head, conveying that faint mockery with which he 
treated anything that was not a flower. 

" Very fine. Very fine, my dear." 

" Well, aren't you going to congratulate me ? " Pauline 
asked. 

" On what ? " 

" Oh, Father, you are naughty. On Guy of course." 

" Bless my heart," said the Rector. " And on what am 
I to congratulate him ? " 

" On me of course," said Pauline. 

" Now, I wonder if I can honestly do that," said the 
Rector very seriously. 

" Father, you do realize, don't you, because you are 
being so naughty, but you do realize that from to-day we 
are really engaged ? " 

" Only from to-day ? " the Rector asked, a twinkle in his 
eye. 

" Well, of course," Pauline explained. " We've been in 
love for very nearly a year." 

" And when have you decided to get married ? " 

Pauline looked at Guy. 

" We thought in about two years, Sir," said Guy. " That 
is, of course, as soon as I've published my first book. Per- 
haps in a year really." 

" Just when you find it convenient in fact," said the 
Rector still twinkling. 



214 Guy and Pauline 

" Well, Father," Pauline interrupted, " have we got 
your permission ? Because that's what we've come up to 
ask." 

" You surprize me," said the Rector, starting back with 
an exaggerated look of astonishment such as one might use 
with children. 

" Father, if you won't be serious about it, I shall be 
very much hurt." 

" I am very serious indeed about it," said the Rector. 
" And supposing I said I wouldn't hear of any such thing 
as an engagement between you two young creatures, what 
would you say then ? " 

" Oh, I should never forgive you," Pauline declared. 
" Besides we're not young. Guy is twenty-three." 

" Now I thought he was at least fifty," said the 
Rector. 

" Father, we shall have to go away if you won't be 
serious. Mother told us to explain to you and I think it's 
really unkind of you to laugh at us." 

The Rector rose and knocked his pipe out. 

" I must finish off the perennials. Well, well, Pauline, 
my dear, you're twenty-one. . . ." 

Pauline would have liked to let him go on thinking 
she was of age, but she could not on this solemn 
occasion, and so she told him that she was still only 
twenty. 

" Ah, that makes a difference," said the Rector pretending 
to look very fierce. And when Pauline's face fell, he added 
with a chuckle, " of one year. Well, well, I fancy you've 
both arranged everything. What is there left for me to 
say ? You mustn't forget to show Guy those Nerines. 
God bless you, pretty babies, be happy." 

Then the Rector walked quickly away, and left them 
together in his dusty library where the botanical folios and 
quartos displaying tropic blooms sprawled open about the 



Summer 2 1 5 

floor, where along the mantelpiece the rhizomes of Onco- 
cyclus irises were being dried ; and where seeds were 
strewn plenteously on his desk, rattling among the papers 
whenever the wind blew. 

" Guy, we are really engaged." 

" Pauline, Pauline ! " 

In the dusty room among the ghosts of dead seasons and 
the mouldering store amassed by the suns of other years, 
they stood locked, heart to heart. 

Before Guy went home that night, when they were 
lingering in the hall, he told Pauline that the next thing to 
be done was to write to his own father. 

" Guy, do you think he'll like me ? " 

" Why, how could he help it ? But he may grumble at the 
idea of my being engaged." 

" When do you think he'll write ? " 

" I expect he'll come down here to see me. In the 
Spring he wrote and said he would." 

" Guy, I'm sure he's going to make it difficult for you." 

Guy shook his head. 

" I know how to manage him," he proclaimed con- 
fidently. 

Then he opened the door ; along the drive the wind 
moaned, getting up for a gusty Bartlemy-tide. 

Pauline stood in the lighted doorway letting the light 
shine upon him until he was lost in the shadows of the tall 
trees, sending, as he vanished, one more kiss down the wind 
to her. 

" Are you happy to-night ? " asked her mother, bending 
over Pauline when she was in bed. 

" Oh, Mother darling, I'm so happy that I can't tell you 
how happy I am." 

In the candlelight her new ring sparkled ; and when her 
mother was gone she put beside it the crystal ring, and it 
seemed to sparkle still more. Pauline was in such a mood 



216 Guy and Pauline 

of tenderness to everything that she petted even her pillow 
with a kind of affection and she had the contentment of 
knowing she was going to meet sleep as if it were a great 
benignant figure that was bending to hear her tale of happy 
love. 






ANOTHER AUTUMN 



September 



GUY became much occupied with the best way of 
breaking to his father the news of his engagement. 
He wished it were his marriage of which he had to 
inform him ; for there was about marriage such a beautiful 
finality of spilt milk that the briefest letter would have 
settled everything. If now he wrote to announce an 
engagement, he ran the risk of his father's refusal to come 
and pay him that visit on which he was building such hopes 
from the combined effect of Pauline and Flashers Mead in 
restoring to the schoolmaster the bright mirror of his own 
youth. It would scarcely be fair to the Greys to introduce 
him while he was still ignorant of the relation in which he 
was supposed to stand to them, for they could scarcely be 
expected to regard him as a man to be humoured up to such 
a point. After all, it was not as if he in his heart looked to 
his father for practical help : in reality he knew already that 
the engagement would meet with his opposition notwith- 
standing Pauline . . . notwithstanding Plashers Mead. 
Perhaps it would be better to write and tell him about it : 
if he came, it would obviate an awkward explanation and 
there could be no question of false pretences : if he declined 
to come, no doubt he would write such a letter as would 
justify his son in holding him up to the Greys as naturally 
intractable. Indeed if it were not that he knew how sensi- 
tive Pauline was to the paternal benediction, he would have 
made no attempt to present him at all. 

His father kept him waiting over a week before he replied 
to the announcement Guy had ultimately decided to send 

219 



220 Guy and Pauline 



him ; and when it came, the letter did not promise the most 
favourable prospect. 

Fox HALL, 

GALTON, 
HANTS. 

September 1st. 
Dear Guy, 

I have taken a Jew days to think over the extraordinary 
news you have seen Jit to communicate. I hope I am not so 
Jar removed from sympathy with your aspirations as not to be 
able to understand almost anything you might have to tell me 
about yourself. But this I confess defeats my best intentions, 
setting as it does a crown on all the rest of your acts of folly. 
I tried to believe that your desire to write poetry was merely a 
passing whim. I tried to think that your tenancy of this house 
was not the behaviour of a thoughtless and wilful young man. 
I was most anxious, as I clearly showed (i) by my gift of 150 
(zY) by my offer of a post at Fox Hall, to put myself in accord with 
your ambition ; and now you write and tell me after a year's 
unprofitable idling that you are engaged to be married ! I 
admit as a minute point in your Jav our you do not suggest that 
I should help you to tie yourself for life to the fancy of a young 
man of just twenty-three. Little did I think when I wrote to 
wish you many happy returns of the 2Otb of August, although 
you had previously disappointed me by your refusal to help me 
out of a nasty difficulty, little did I think that my answer was 
going to be this piece of reckless Jolly. May I ask what her 
parents are thinking of, or are they so blinded by your charms 
as to be willing to allow this daughter oj theirs to wait until' the 
income you make by selling your poetry enables you to^get 
married? I gathered from your description of Mr. Grey that 
he was an extremely unpractical man ; and his attitude' to- 
wards your engagement certainly bears me out. I suppose I 
shall presently get a post-card to say that you are married on 



, 



Another Autumn 221 

your income 0/^150, which by the way in the present state of 
affairs is very likely soon to be less. You invite me to come and 
stay with you before term begins in order to meet the young lady 
to whom with extremely bad taste you jocularly allude as my 
'future daughter-in-law' Well, I accent your invitation, but 
I warn you that I shall give myself the unpleasant task of ex- 
plaining to your ' future father-in-law,' as I suppose you would 
not blush to call him, what an utterly unreliable fellow you are 
and how in every way you have disappointed 

Tour affectionate father 

John Hazlewood. 

I shall arrive at two-thirty on the fifth (next Thursday). 
I wish I could say I was looking forward to seeing this insane 
house of yours. 

There was something in the taste of marmalade very- 
appropriate to an unpleasant letter, and Guy wondered 
how many of them he had read at breakfast to the accom- 
paniment of the bitter savour and the sound of crackling 
toast. He also wondered what was the real reason of his 
father's coming. Was it curiosity, or the prospect of 
lecturing a certain number of people gathered together to 
hear his opinion ? Was it with the hope of dissuasion, or 
was it merely because he had settled to come on the fifth 
of September and could not bear to thwart that finicking 
passion of his for knowing what he was going to do a month 
beforehand ? 

Anyhow, whatever the reason, he was coming, and the next 
problem was to furnish for him a bedroom. How much 
had he in the bank ? ^4 i6s. and there was a blank counter- 
foil which Guy vaguely thought represented a cheque for 
2. Of course Pauline's ring had lowered his balance rather 
prematurely this quarter ; he ought to be very economical 
during the next one and, as ill luck would have it, next 



222 Guy and Pauhne 

quarter would have to provide fuel. 2 i6s. was not much to 
spend on furnishing a bedroom even if the puny balance were 
not needed for the current expenses of the three weeks to 
Michaelmas. Could he borrow some bedroom furniture 
from the Rectory ? No doubt Mrs. Grey would be amused 
and delighted to lend all he wanted, but it seemed rather 
an ignominious way of celebrating his engagement. Could 
he sleep on the chest in the hall ? and as it wobbled to his 
touch, he decided that not only could he not sleep on it 
nor in it, but that it would not even serve as a receptacle 
for his clothes. 

" Miss Peasey," he said, when the housekeeper came in 
to see if he had finished breakfast. " My father is coming 
to stay here on Thursday." 

Miss Peasey smiled encouragingly with the strained look 
in her eyes that always showed when she was hoping to 
find out from his next sentence what he had told her. 
Guy shouted his information over again, when, of course 
Miss Peasey pretended she had heard him all the time. 

" Well, that will make quite a little variety, I'm 
sure." 

" Where will he sleep ? " Guy asked. 

Miss Peasey jumped and said that there, she'd never 
thought of that. 

" Well, think about it now, Miss Peasey." 

Miss Peasey thought hard, but unfruitfully. 

" Could you borrow a bed in the town ? " Guy 
shouted. 

" Well, wouldn't it seem rather funny ? Why don't you 
send in to Oxford and buy a bed, Mr. Hazlewood ? " 

Her pathetic trust in the strength of his financial re- 
sources, which Guy usually tried to encourage, was now 
rather irritating. 

" It seems hardly worth while to buy a bed for two or 
three days," he objected. 



Another Autumn 223 

"Which reminds me," said Miss Peasey, "that you'll 
really have to give that Bob another good thrashing, for he's 
eaten all the day's butter." 

" Well, we can buy more butter in Wychford, but we 
can't get a bed," Guy laughed. 

" Oh, he didn't touch the bread," said Miss Peasey. 
" Trust him for that. I never knew a large dog so dainty 
before." 

Guy decided to postpone the subject of the bed and try 
Miss Peasey more personally. 

" Could you spare your chest of drawers ? " he asked at 
top voice. 

Miss Peasey, however, did not answer and from her com- 
plete indifference to his question Guy knew that she did not 
like the idea of such a loan. It looked as if he would be 
compelled to borrow the furniture from the Rectory ; and 
then he thought how after all it would be a doubly good 
plan to do so, inasmuch as it would partially involve his 
father in the obligations of a guest. Moreover it could 
scarcely fail to be a slight reproach to him that his son should 
have to borrow bedroom furniture from the family of his 
betrothed. 

Pauline was of course delighted at the idea of lending the 
furniture, and she and Guy had the greatest fun together in 
amassing enough to equip what would really be a very 
charming spare room. Deaf and dumb Graves was called 
in ; and Birdwood helped also, under protest at the 
hindrance to his work, but at the same time revelling, if 
Birdwood could be said to revel, in the diversion. Mrs. 
Grey presided over the arrangement and fell so much in 
love with the new bedroom that she pillaged the Rectory 
much more ruthlessly than Pauline, and in the end they all 
decided that Guy's father would have the most attractive 
bedroom in Wychford. Guy with so much preparation on 
hand had no time to worry about the conduct of his father's 



224 Guy and Pauline 






visit, and after lunch, on Thursday he got into the trap 
beside Godbold and drove off equably enough to meet the 
train at Shipcot. 

Mr. Hazlewood was in appearance a dried-up likeness of 
his son, and Guy often wondered if he would ever present 
to the world this desiccated exterior. Yet after all it was 
not so much his father's features as his cold eyes that gave 
this effect of a chilly force : he himself had his mother's 
eyes and, thinking of hers burning darkly from the glooms 
of her sick bed, Guy fancied that he would never wither to 
quite the inanimate and discouraging personality on the 
platform in front of him. 

" The train's quite punctual," said Mr. Hazelwood in 
rather an aggrieved tone of voice, such as he might have 
adopted if he had been shown a correct Latin exercise by a 
boy whom he was anxious to reprove. 

" Yes, this train is usually pretty punctual," Guy 
answered, and for a minute or two after a self-conscious 
handshake they talked about trains, each, as it seemed, 
trying to throw upon the other the responsibility of any 
conversation that might have promoted their ease. 

Guy introduced his father to Godbold, who greeted him 
with a kind of congratulatory respect and assumed toward 
Guy a manner that gave the impression of sharing with 
Mr. Hazlewood in his paternity. 

" Hope you're going to pay us a good long visit," said 
Godbold hospitably flicking the pony. 

Mr. Hazlewood, who squashed as he was between Guy 
and fat Godbold looked more sapless than ever, said he 
proposed to stay until the day after to-morrow. 

" Then you won't see us play Shipcot on Saturday, the 
last match of the season ? " said Godbold in disappointed 
benevolence. 

" No, I shan't, I'm afraid. You see, my son is not so busy 
as I am." 



Another Autumn 225 

" Ah, but he's been very busy lately. Isn't that right, 
Mr. Hazlewood ? " Godbold chuckled with a wink across 
at Guy. " Well, we've all been expecting it for some time 
past and he has our good wishes. That he has. As sweetly 
pretty a young lady as you'll see in a month of Sundays." 

His father shrank perceptibly from a dominical prevision 
so foreign to his nature, and Guy changed the conversation 
by pointing out features in the landscape. 

" Extraordinarily inspiring sort of country," he affirmed. 

" So I should imagine," said his father. " Though 
precisely what that epithet implies I don't quite know." 

Guy was determined not to be put out of humour and, 
surrendering the epithet at once, he substituted * bracing'. 

" So is Hampshire," his father snapped. 

" I hope Wilkinson's successor has turned out well," Guy 
ventured, in the hope that such a direct challenge would 
force a discharge of grievances. Surprizingly, however, his 
father talked without covert reproaches of the successor's 
virtues, of the field-club he had started, of his popularity 
with the boys and of the luck which had brought him along 
at such short notice. At any rate, thought Guy, he could 
not be blamed for having caused any inconvenience to the 
school by his refusal to take up office at Fox Hall. The 
constraint of the long drive came to an end with the first 
view of Flashers Mead, at which his father gazed with the 
sort of mixture of resentment, interest and alarm he might 
have displayed at the approach of a novel insect. 

" It looks as if it would be very damp," was his only 
comment. 

Here Godbold, who had perhaps for some time been 
conscious that all was not perfectly well between his 
passengers, interposed with a defence of Flashers Mead. 

" Lot of people seeing it from here think it's damp. But 
it isn't. In fact it's the driest house in Wychford. And do 
you know for why, sir ? Because it's so near running water. 



226 Guy and Pauline 






Running water keeps off the damp. Doctor Brydone told me 
that. ' Running water,' he says to me, * keeps off the damp.' 
Those were his words." 

Mr. Hazlewood eyed Godbold distastefully, that is so far 
as without turning his head he could eye him at all. Then 
the trap pulled up by the gate of Flashers Mead, Guy took 
his father's bag, and they passed in together. The noise of 
wheels died away, and here in the sound of the swift Green- 
rush Guy felt that hostility must surely be renounced at the 
balm of this September afternoon shedding serene sunlight. 
He began to display his possessions with the confidence 
their beauty always gave him. 

" Pretty good old apple-trees, eh ? Ribston pippins 
nearly all of them. The blossom was rather spoilt by that 
wet May, but there's not such a bad crop considering. I 
like this salmon-coloured phlox. General something or 
other beginning with an H it's called. Mr. Grey gave me 
a good deal. The garden of course was full of vegetables, 
when I had it first. I must send you some clumps of this 
phlox to Galton. Of course, I got rid of the vegetables." 

" Yes, of course," agreed Mr. Hazlewood dryly. 

" Doesn't the house look jolly from here ? It's pretty 
old, you know. About 1590 I believe. It's a wonderful 
place, isn't it ? Hulloa, there's my housekeeper. Miss 
Peasey, here's my father. She's very deaf, so you'll have 
to shout." 

Mr. Hazlewood, who never shouted even at the naughtiest 
boy in his school, shuddered faintly at his son's invitation 
and bowed to Miss Peasey with a formality of disapproval 
that seemed to include her in the condemnation of all he 
beheld. 

"Quite a resemblance, I'm sure," Miss Peasey archly 
declared. " Tea will be ready at four o'clock and Mr. 
Hazlewood Senior's room is all in order for him." Then she 
disappeared in the direction of the kitchen. 



Another Autumn 227 

"A little empty, I'm afraid," said Guy, as his father 
looked round the hall. 

" Is that water I hear ? " 

" Yes, the river washes the back of the house." 

" And this place isn't damp ? " 

" Not a bit," Guy declared positively. 

" Well, it smells of bronchitis and double-pneumonia." 

Guy showed his father the dining-room. 

" I've got it rather jolly, I think," he ventured. 

" Yes, my candlesticks and chairs, that your mother lent 
you for your rooms at Balliol, look very well," his father 
agreed. 

Guy led the way to the spare bedroom. 

" No wonder you spent all your money," Mr. Hazlewood 
commented, surveying the four-post bed and the Jacobean 
furniture. " How on earth did you manage to afford all this 
luxury ? " 

" Oh, I picked it up somehow," said Guy lightly. He had 
decided on second thoughts not to reveal the secret of the 
Rectory's loan. 

When his father had rid himself of the dust from his 
journey, Guy introduced him proudly to his own room. 

" Well, this is certainly quite a pleasant place," Mr. 
Hazlewood admitted. "If not too draughty with those 
two windows." ^ 

" You must scratch a motto on the pane with the 
diamond-pencil," Guy suggested. 

" My motto is hard work." 

" Well, write that. Or at any rate put your initials and 
the date." 

His father took up the pencil with that expression of 
superiority which Guy most hated, and scratched his name 
rather awkwardly on the glass. 

" I hope people won't suppose that is my ordinary hand," 
he said, grimly regarding the John Hazlewood of his 



228 Guy and Pauline 



;ht to 



inscription. During tea Guy wondered when he ought 
introduce the subject of Pauline. Beyond Godbold's 
unfortunate allusion on the drive, nothing had been said by 
either of them ; and Flashers Mead had not as yet effected 
that enchantment of his father's senses which would seem 
to proclaim the moment as propitious. How remote they 
were from one another, sitting here at tea ! Really his 
father had not accorded him any salutation more cordial 
than the coldly absent-minded * good dog ' he had just 
given to Bob. Yet there must be points of contact in their 
characters. There must be in himself something of his 
father. He could not so ridiculously resemble him and yet 
have absolutely nothing mentally in common. Perhaps his 
father did himself an injustice by his manner, for after all 
he had presented him with that 150. If he could only 
probe by some remark a generous impulse, Guy felt that in 
himself the affection of wonted intercourse over many years 
would respond immediately with a warmth of love. His 
father had cared greatly for his mother ; and could not 
the love they had both known supply them with the 
point of sympathetic contact that would enable them to 
understand the ulterior intention of their two diverging 
lives ? 

" It was awfully good of you, Father, to come down and 
stay here," said Guy. " I've really been looking forward to 
showing you the house. I think, perhaps, you understand 
now how much I've wanted to be here ? " 

Guy waited anxiously. 

" I've never thought you haven't wanted to be here," his 
father replied. " But between what we want and what we 
owe there is a wide gap." 

Oh, why was a use to be made of these out-of-date 
weapons ? Why could not one or two of his prejudices be 
surrendered, so that there were a chance of meeting him 
half-way ? 



Another Autumn 229 

" But sometimes," said Guy desperately, " inclination and 
duty coincide." 

" Very rarely, I'm afraid, in this world." 

" Do they in the next then ? " asked Guy a little harshly, 
hating the conventionality of the answer that seemed to 
crystallize the intellectual dishonesty of a dominie's exist- 
ence. He knew that the next world was merely an arid 
postulate which served for a few theorems and problems of 
education, and that duty and desire must only be kept apart 
on account of the hierarchical formulae of his craft. He must 
eternally appear as half-inhuman as all the rest of the 
Pharisees : priests, lawyers and schoolmasters, they were all 
alike in relying for their livelihood upon a capacity for 
depreciating human nature. 

" I was merely using a figure of speech," said his father. 

Exactly, thought Guy, and how was he ever to justify his 
love for Pauline to a man whose opinions could never be 
expressed except in figures of speech ? He made up his mind 
to postpone the visit to the Rectory until to-morrow. 
Evidently it was not going to be made even moderately easy 
to broach the subject of Pauline. 

" I expect you'd like to have a look at some of my work," 
he suggested. 

" Very much,*' said Mr. Hazlewood ; and in a moment 
with his dry assent he had reduced all his son's achievement 
to the level of a fifth-form composition. Guy took the 
manuscripts out of his desk, and disengaging from the heap 
any poems that might be ascribed to the influence of 
Pauline, he presented the rest to his father. Mr. Hazlewood 
settled himself as comfortably as he could ever seem to be 
comfortable and solemnly began to read without comment. 
Guy would have liked to get up and leave him alone, for 
though he assured himself that the opinion whether favour- 
able or unfavourable did not matter, his suspense was sharp 
and the inexpression of his father's demeanour, that 



230 Guy and Pauline 

assumption of tutorial impartiality, kept him puzzling and 
unable to do anything but watch the crith's face and toy 
mechanically with the hair of Bob's sentimental head upon 
his knee. 

At last the manuscripts were finished, and Guy sat back 
for the verdict. 

" Oh, yes, I like some very much," said Mr. Hazlewood. 
" But I can't help thinking that all of them could have 
been written as well in recreation after the arduousness of 
a decent profession. However, you've burned your boats 
as far as Fox Hall is concerned, and I shall certainly be the 
first to congratulate you, if you bring your ambition to a 
successful issue." 

" You mean monetarily ? " Guy asked. 

His father did not answer. 

" You wouldn't count as a successful issue recognition 
from the people who care for poetry ? " Guy went on. 

" I'm not particularly impressed by contemporary taste," 
said Mr. Hazlewood. " We seem to me to be living in a 
time when all the great men have gone, and the new 
generation does not appear likely to fill very adequately the 
gap they have left." 

" I wonder if there has ever been a time when people have 
not said just what you're saying ? Do you seriously think 
you'd recognize a great man if you saw him ? " 

" I hope I should," said his father looking perfectly con- 
vinced that he would. 

" Well, I don't believe you would," said Guy. " How do 
you know I'm not a great man ? " 

His father laughed dryly. 

" I don't know, my dear Guy, of course and nothing 
would gratify me more than to find out that you were. 
But at least you'll allow me to observe that great men are 
generally remarkable for their modesty." 

" Yes, after they've been accorded the homage of the 






Another Autumn 231 

world," Guy argued. " They can afford to be modest then. 
I fancy that most of them were self-confident in their 
youth. I hope they were, poor devils. It must have been 
miserable for most of them, if they weren't." 

" However," said Mr. Hazlewood. " All these theories 
of juvenile grandeur, interesting though they may be, do 
not take us far along the road of practical politics. I'm to 
understand, am I, that you are quite determined to remain 
here ? " 

" For another year at any rate," Guy said. " That is 
until I have a volume of poems ready." 

" And your engagement ? " asked his father. 

Guy smiled to himself. It was a minor triumph, but it 
was definitely a triumph to have made his father be the 
first to mention the subject that had stood at the back of 
their minds ever since they met on the Shipcot platform. 

" Look here, before we discuss that I want you to see 
Pauline. I think you'll understand my point of view more 
clearly after you've seen her. Now, wouldn't you like to 
take a stroll round Wychford ? The architecture . . ." 

Guy and his father wandered about until dusk, and in the 
evening after dinner they played piquet. 

" I suppose you wouldn't enjoy a walk in the moonlight ? " 
Guy suggested after the third hand. 

" I have my health to think about. Term begins in a 
fortnight you know," said Mr. Hazlewood. 

Guy had pulled back the curtains and was watching the 
full moon. This, though ten days short of the actual 
anniversary, was the lunary festival of the night when he 
first saw Pauline. Might it be accepted as a propitious 
omen ? Who could say ? They talked of dull subjects 
until it was time to go to bed. 

Guy had sent a note to Mrs. Grey, suggesting that he 
should bring his father to tea next day ; and so about four 
o'clock they set out to the Rectory, the lover in great 



232 Guy and Pauline 

trepidation of spirit. His father was seeming much more 
than ever parched and inhuman, and Guy foresaw that his 
effect upon Pauline would be disastrous. Nor did he feel 
that the strain upon his own nerves was going to be the 
best thing for the situation. On the way to the Rectory 
they met young Brydone, and Guy very nearly invited him 
to accompany them, in a desperate impulse to evoke a crowd 
in which he could lose this disturbing consciousness of his 
father's presence. However, he managed to avoid such a 
subversion of his attitude ; and in a few minutes they were 
in the hall of the Rectory, where Mrs. Grey, as nervously 
agitated as she could be, was welcoming them. Luckily 
Margaret had arrived on the scene before Pauline, and Guy 
managed to place his father next to her, while he took up 
the task of trying to compose Mrs. Grey. At last Pauline 
came in, and Guy seemed to be only aware of a tremendous 
increase in the noise of the conversation. He realized that 
it was due to himself's talking nonsense at the top of his 
voice and that Pauline was vainly trying to get on with his 
father. Monica had gone to look for the Rectqr, and Mrs. 
Grey was displaying the kind of treasures she would pro- 
duce at a mother's meeting, treasures to which his father 
paid but the most scant attention. The whole room 
seemed to revolve round his father who for Guy had become 
the only person in focus, as he stood there parched and in- 
human and perhaps himself a little shy of what he was 
evidently supposing to be a very mad family. Guy, so 
miserable was he feeling at his father's coldness of manner 
toward the Greys, wished passionately that his mother were 
alive, because he knew how much she would have appreci- 
ated them. Monica had now come back with information 
that the Rector was undiscoverable, so Mrs. Grey volun- 
teered to show Mr. Hazlewood the garden. 

" She'll tell you all the flowers wrong," Pauline warned 
him. 



Another Autumn 233 

Mr. Hazlewood bowed. 

" I'm afraid I know nothing about flowers." 

" Guy has learnt a lot from Father," said Pauline. 
" Haven't you, Guy ? " 

She was making the bravest effort, but it was hopeless, 
utterly hopeless, Guy thought. 

How the promenade round these gardens that were 
haunted with his and her delights was banishing them one 
by one. How endless it was, and how complete was the 
failure to incorporate his father in a life which his advent 
had so detestably disturbed. Guy acknowledged that the 
meeting between him and Pauline had served no purpose, 
and as he looked forward to the final battle between their 
wills this evening, he set his teeth with rage to defeat his 
father, at the moment caring not at all if he never saw him 
again. 

Guy knew, as they were walking back to Plashers Mead, 
how little worth while it was to ask what his father had 
thought of the Greys ; but nevertheless he could not resist 
the direct enquiry. 

" They seem a very happy-go-lucky family," was the 
reply. " I thought it extremely strange that Mr. Grey did 
not take the trouble to be at home for my visit. I should 
have thought that in regard to his daughter's future I 
might be considered sufficiently . . . however, it's all of a 
piece." 

Guy hated the mock-modest lacuna in the characteriza- 
tion, and he thought of the many schoolmasters he had 
known whose consciousness of external opinion never 
allowed them to claim a virtue for themselves, although 
their least action always contained an implication of merit. 

Guy made some excuse for the Rector's absence and 
rather moodily walked on beside his father. The battle 
should be to-night ; and after dinner he came directly to 
the point. 



234 Guy and Pauline 






in 

: 



" I hope you liked Pauline ? " 

" My dear Guy, your impulsiveness extends too far. 
How can I after a few minutes' conversation pronounce an 
opinion ? " 

" But she's not a pathological case," cried Guy 
exasperation. 

" Precisely," retorted his father. " And therefore I pay 
her the compliment of not rushing into headstrong approval, 
or disapproval. Certainly she seemed to me superficially a 
very charming girl, but I should be inclined to think some- 
what excitable." 

" Of course, she was shy." 

" Naturally. These sudden immersions in new relation- 
ships do not make for ease. I was myself a little embarrassed. 
But, after all, the question is not whether I like er 
Pauline, but whether I am justified on her account as well 
as on yours in giving my countenance to this ridiculous 
engagement. Please don't interrupt me. My time is 
short, and I must as your father fulfil my obligations to you 
by saying what I have to say." 

Even in his speech he was epistolary, and while he spoke 
Guy was all the time, as it were, tearing him into small 
pieces and dropping him deliberately into the waste-paper- 
basket. 

" Had I been given an opportunity," his father went on, 
" of speaking privately with Mr. Grey, I should have let 
him plainly understand how much I deplored your un- 
justifiable embarkation upon this engagement. You have, 
frankly, no right to engage yourself to a girl when you are 
without the means to bring the pledge to fruition. You 
possess, it is true, an income of 150 a year too little to 
make you really independent, too much to compel you to 
relinquish your own mad scheme of livelihood. 

" I have had the privilege of reading your verse," he con- 
tinued, protesting against an interruption with upraised 



Another Autumn 235 

hand. " Well, I am glad enough to say that it seems to me 
promising : but what is promising verse ? A few seedlings 
in a flower-pot that even if they come to perfection will 
serve no purpose but of decoration. It is folly or mere 
wanton self-deception for you to pretend that you can live 
by poetry. Why, even if you were an American you 
couldn't live by poetry. Now please let me finish. My 
commonsense no doubt strikes you as brutal, but if, when 
it is your turn to speak, you can produce the shadow of a 
probability that you will ever earn your own living, I shall 
be only too willing to be convinced. I am not so much 
enamoured of my schoolmaster's life as to wish to bind you 
down to that ; but between being a schoolmaster and being 
what the world would call an idle young poseur lies a big 
gulf. Why did not you stick to your Macedonian idea ? 
Surely that was romantic enough to please even you. No, 
the whole manner of your present life spells self-indulgence 
and I warn you it will inevitably bring in its train the results 
of self-indulgence. My dear Guy, do something. Don't 
stay here talking of what you are going to do. Say good-bye 
for the present to Pauline and do something. If she is fond 
of you, she will be prouder of you when she sees that you 
are determined to fight to win her. My boy, I speak to you 
very seriously and I warn you that this is the last protest 
I shall make. You are behaving wrongly : her parents are 
behaving wrongly. If you must write, get some regular 
work. Why not try for the staff of some reputable paper 
like The Spectator ? " 

" Good heavens ! " Guy ejaculated. 

" Well, there may be other reputable papers, though I 
confess The Spectator is my favourite." 

" Yes, I know. It probably would be." 

" It's this terrible inaction," his father went on. " I 
don't know how you can tolerate the ignominious position in 
which you find yourself. To me it would be unendurable." 



236 Guy and Pauline 






Mr. Hazlewood sighed with the satisfaction of unburden- 
ing himself and waited for his son to reply, who with a 
tremendous effort not to spoil the force of his argument by 
losing his temper began calmly enough : 

" I have never contended that I should earn my living 
by poetry. What I have hoped is that when my first book 
appears it would be sufficiently remarkable to restore your 
confidence in me." 

" In other words," his father interrupted, " to tempt me 
to support you or rather as it now turns out to help you 
to get married." 

" Well, why not ? " said Guy. " I'm your only son. 
You can spare the money. Why shouldn't you help me ? 
I'm not asking you to do anything before I've justified 
myself. I'm only asking you to wait a year. If my book is 
a failure, it will be I who pay the penalty, not you. My 
confidence will be severely damaged whereas in your case 
only your conceit will be faintly ruffled." 

" Were I really a conceited man, I should resent your 
last remark," said his father. " But let it pass, and finish 
what you were going to say." 

Guy got up and went to the window, seeking to find from 
the moonlight a coolness that would keep his temper in 
hand. 

" W'ould you have preferred that I did not ask Pauline 
to marry, that I made love to her without any intention of 
marriage ? " 

" Not at all," his father replied. " I imagine that you 
still possess some self-restraint, that when you began to feel 
attracted to her you could have wrestled with yourself 
against what in the circumstances was a purely selfish 
emotion." 

" But why, why ? W T hat really good reason can you 
bring forward against my behaviour, except reasons based 
on a cowardly fear of not being prosperous ? You have 



Another Autumn 237 

always impressed on me so deeply the identity of your 
youthful ambitions with mine that I don't suppose I'm 
assuming too much when I ask what you would have done, 
if you had met Mother when you were not in a position to 
marry her immediately ? Would you have said nothing ? " 

" I hope I should have had sufficient restraint not to 
want to marry anybody until I was able to offer material 
support as well as a higher devotion." 

" But if ... oh, love is not a matter of the will." 

" Excuse me," his father contradicted obstinately. 
" Everything is a matter of will. That is precisely the point 
I am trying to make." 

Guy marched over to the fireplace and, balancing himself 
on the fender, proclaimed the attainment of a deadlock. 

" You and I, my dear Father, differ in fundamentals. 
Supposing I admit for a moment that I may be wrong, 
aren't you just as wrong in not trying to see my point of 
view ? Supposing for instance Tennyson had paid atten- 
tion to criticism I don't mean of his work, but of his 
manner of life what would have happened ? " 

" I can't afford to run the risk of being considered the 
fond parent by announcing you to the world as a second 
Tennyson. Thirty-five years of a schoolmaster's life have 
at least taught me that parents as parents have a natural 
propensity toward the worst excesses of human folly." 

" Then in other words," Guy responded, " I'm to mess 
up my life to preserve your dignity. That's what it amounts 
to. I tell you I believe in myself. I'm convinced that 
beside will, there is destiny." 

Mr. Hazlewood sniffed. 

" Destiny is the weak man's canonization of his own 
vices." 

" Well, then I will succeed," retorted Guy. " Moreover 
I will succeed in my own way. It seems a pity that we should 
argue acrimoniously. I shall say no more. I accept the 




238 Guy and Pauline 

responsibility. For what you've done for me I'm very 
much obliged. Would you care for a hand at piquet ? " 

" Oh, certainly," said his father. 

Guy hugged himself with another minor triumph. At 
least it was he who had determined when the discussion 
should be closed. 

The next day, as Guy stood on the Shipcot platform and 
watched the slow train puffing away into the unadventurous 
country, he had a brief sentiment of regret for the failure 
of his father's visit and made up his mind to write to him a 
letter to-morrow, which would sweeten a little of the bitter- 
ness between them. The bees buzzing round the wine- 
dark dahlias along the platform were once again audible : 
and close at hand was the hum of a reaper-and-binder. 
But as he drove back to Wychford his father passed from 
his mind, and mostly Guy thought of walking with Pauline 
under the pale and ardent blue of this September sky that 
was reflected in the chicory flowers along the sparse and 
dusty hedgerow. 



October 

' 1^ JiT Y dears, he frightened me to death," Pauline 

I ^ / I declared to her family when Mr. Hazlewood 

-L v A had left the Rectory. " Only I expect, you 
know, that really he's rather sweet." 

" I don't think he approved of us very much," said 
Margaret. 

" I didn't approve of him very much," said Monica. 

" And where was Francis ? " asked Mrs. Grey. 

" Francis was a naughty boy," said Pauline. 

Since they were sitting in the nursery, her mother 
allowed the Christian name to pass without reproof. 

" He was so exactly like Guy," said Margaret. 

" Like Guy ? " Pauline echoed incredulously. 

" Yes, of course, didn't you notice that ? " Margaret 
laughed. 

" You're quite right, Margaret," said Mrs. Grey. " How 
clever of you to see. Now of course I realize how much 
alike they were . . . how clever you are ! " 

" Without Pauline," Margaret went on, " Guy might 
easily become his father all over again." 

" But, my dears," said Pauline, " that would be terrible. I 
remember how frightened I was of Guy the first day he 
came to the Rectory, and if he grows more like his father, 
I don't think I shall ever be anything else but frightened of 
him, even if we live for ever. For, though I'm sure he's 
really very sweet, I don't believe one would ever get quite 
used to Mr. Hazlewood." 

Yet when Pauline was alone and had an opportunity to 
look back upon the visit, its effect was rather encouraging 

239 



240 Guy and Pauline 






than otherwise. For one thing it curiously made Guy more 
actual, because until the personality of his father projected 
itself upon the scene of their love he had always possessed 
for Pauline a kind of romantic unreality. In the Spring 
days and Summer days which had seemed to dedicate them- 
selves to the service of intimacy, Guy had talked a great 
deal of his life before they met, but the more he had told 
her, the more was she in the state of being unable to realize 
that the central figure of these old tales was not a dream. 
When he was with her, she was often in a daze of wonder 
at the credibility of being loved like this ; and there was 
never an occasion of seeing him even after the briefest 
absence that did not hold in the heart of its pleasure a 
surprize at his return. The appearance of Mr. Hazlewood 
was a phenomenon that gave the pledge of prosaic authority 
to her love, like a statement in print that however absurd 
or uncomfortable has a value so far beyond mere talk. She 
had often been made rather miserable by Guy's tales of the 
ladies he had loved with airy heedlessness, but these heroines 
had all faded out in the unreality of his life apart from her, 
and they took their place with days of adventure described 
in Macedonia or with the old diversions of Oxford. The 
visit of Mr. Hazlewood with the chilly disapproval it had 
shed was more authentic than, for instance, the idea of 
Guy's dark-eyed mother, who had seemed in his narrations 
almost to threaten Pauline with her son's fairy ancestry, as 
if from the grave she might at any moment summon him 
away. Mr. Hazlewood had carried with him a wonderful 
assurance of ordinariness. The merely external resem- 
blance between him and his son proved that Guy could 
grow old ; and the sense of his opposition was a trifling 
discomfort in comparison with the assurance he offered of 
an imaginable future. She remembered that her first idea 
of Guy had been that of someone dry and cynical ; and no 
doubt this first impression of his father was equally wrong. 



Another Autumn 241 

She who had been so shy and speechless was no doubt much 
to blame, and the family had done nothing to help out the 

situation. It had been unkind of her father to hide himself, 

* 

since to Mr. Hazlewood, who could not have understood 
that it was the sort of thing her father would be sure to do, 
such behaviour must have presented itself very oddly. 

The Rector on Pauline's remonstrating with him was not 
at all penitent. 

" When your marriage, my dear, comes on the horizon 
I don't mind how faint a horizon of the probable, then it 
will be time to discuss matters in the practical way I sup- 
pose Mr. Hazlewood would like them to be discussed. 
Moreover in any case I forgot that the worthy gentleman 
was coming." 

Pauline was anxious to make excuses for the Rector to 
Guy, but Guy when he came round next day was only 
apologetic for his own father's behaviour ; and he and she 
came to a conclusion in the end that parents must be forgiven 
on account of their age. 

" At the same time," Guy added, " I blame my father 
for his conventional outlook. He doesn't seem able to 
realize the extraordinary help that you are to my work. 
In fact he doesn't realize that my work is work. He's been 
teaching for so many years that now he can no longer learn 
anything. Your father's behaviour is reasonable. He 
doesn't take us quite seriously, but he leaves the situation 
to our disentanglement. Well, we shall convince him that 
nothing in the world is so simple as a love like ours ; but 
the worst of my father is that even if he were convinced he 
would be more annoying than ever." 

" You must make allowances, Guy. For one thing how 
few people, even when they're young, understand about 
love. Besides, he's anxious about your career." 

" What right has he to be anxious ? " Guy burst out. 
" If I fail, I pay the penalty, not he." 



7- 

: 



242 Guy and Pauline 

" But he would be so hurt if you failed," she urged. 

" Pauline, if you can say that, you can imagine that 
will fail. Even you are beginning to have doubts." 

" I haven't any doubts," she whispered. " I know 
will be famous. And yet I have doubts of another sort. 
I sometimes wonder if I shall be enough when you are 
famous." 

The question she had raised launched Guy upon a sea of 
eloquence. He worried no more about his father, but only 
protested his dependence upon Pauline's love for every- 
thing that he would ever have accomplished. 

" Yes, but I think I shall seem dull one day," she pe] 
sisted with a shake of the head. 

" No, no. How could you seem dull to me ? " 

" But I'm not clever . . ." 

" Avoid that wretched word," he cried. " It can only 
be applied to thieves, politicians and lawyers. I have told 
you a thousand times what you are to me, and I will not 
tell you again because I don't want to be an egotist. I don't 
want to represent you to myself as a creature that exists 
for me. You are a being to whom I aspire. If we live for 
ever I shall have still to aspire to you and never be nearer 
than the hope of deserving you." 

" But your poetry, Guy, are you sure I appreciate it ? 
Are you sure I'm not just a silly little thing lost in admira- 
tion of whatever you do ? " 

Guy brushed her doubts aside. 

" Poetry is life trembling on the edge of human expres- 
sion," he declared. " You are my life, and my poor verse 
faints in its powerlessness to say so. I always must be alone 
to blame if the treasure that you are is not proved to the 
world." 

How was she to convince him of her unworthiness, how 
was she to persuade this lover of hers that she was too simple 
a creature for his splendid enthronement ? Suddenly one 



Another Autumn 243 

day he would see her in all her dulness and ordinariness, 
and turning from her in disillusion, he would hold her 
culpable for anything in his work that might seem to have 
betrayed his ambition. 

" Guy," she called into the future. " You will always 
love me ? " 

" Will there ever be another Pauline ? " 

" Oh, there might be so easily." 

" Never ! Never ! Every hour, every moment cries 
1 never ! ' " 

In her heart she told herself that at least none but she 
could ever love him so well ; and in the strange confidence 
his father's visit had given to her she told him in her turn 
how every hour and every moment made her more dependent 
upon his love. 

" I want nothing but you, nothing, nothing. I've given 
up everything for you." 

" What have you given up ? " he demanded at once, 
jealously and triumphantly regarding her. 

" Oh, nothing really ; but all the foolish little interests. 
Nothing, my dearest ; only pigeons and music and working 
woollen birds and visiting poor people. Such foolish little 
things . . . and yet things that were once upon a time 
frightfully important." 

" You mustn't give up your music and your pigeons." 

They both laughed at the absurd conjunction. 

" How can I play when I'm thinking of you always, 
every second ? Why, when I do anything but think of you, 
every object and every word floats away as it does when I'm 
tired and trying to keep awake in a big room." 

" You can play to me," he argued, " even when I'm not 
there." 

" Guy darling, I do, I do ; but you've no idea how hope- 
lessly playing to an absent lover destroys the time." 

The memory of Mr. Hazlewood's visit was soon lost in 



244 Guy and Pauline 



yhad 



the celebration of their anniversary month. As they 
promised themselves in Summer, they went on moonlit 
expeditions to gather mushrooms ; and at the waning of 
the moon they rose early on many milkwhite dawns instead, 
when the mushrooms at such an hour were veritably the 
spoil of dew, gleaming in their baskets under veils of gos- 
samer. On these serene mornings the sound of autumnal 
birdsong came to them out of misted trees, so that they 
used to talk of the woods in the next Springtime, them- 
selves moving about the wan vapours with that very air of 
people who scarcely live in the present. There was in this 
plaintive music of robins and thrushes a regret for the days 
of Summer spent together that were now passed away, and 
yet a more robust melody might have affronted the wistful 
air of these milkwhite dawns. The frail notes of the birds 
hinted at silence beyond, and through the opalescent and 
transuming landscape Guy and Pauline floated in fancy 
once more down the young Thames from Ladingford. 
The sad stillness of the year's surrender to decline admonished 
them to garner these hours, making a ghost even of the sun 
as if to warn them of the fleeting world, the covetous and 
furtive world. They wonderfully enjoyed these hours, but 
Pauline when at breakfast the mushrooms came fizzling to 
the table could never believe that she had been with Guy, 
and she used often to be discontented on being reminded 
by her mother of how much of the day she had already 
spent in his company. Looking back at these immaterial 
mornings of autumnal mist, she saw them upon the confines 
of sleep : silvery spaces they seemed that were not robbed 
from any familiar time. 

There was during all this month a certain amount of 
congratulation which had to be endured, and Margaret was 
angry one day because Mr. and Mrs. Ford came over from 
Little Fairfield and alluded at tea to their hope of Richard 
and her soon being engaged. Pauline was naturally subject 



Another Autumn 245 

to the inquisitiveness of everybody, but as she could not 
without being absent-minded talk about anything except 
Guy, she found the general curiosity not very troublesome. 
Guy, however, resented this atmosphere of enquiry and 
was always more and more anxious to carry her out of reach 
of Wychford gossip. 

One day in mid-October they had set out together with 
the intention of taking a long walk to the open upland 
country on the other side of the town, when, as they were 
going up High Street, they saw two of the local chatter- 
boxes. 

" I will not stop and talk to Mrs. Brydone and Mrs. 
Willsher," Guy grumbled. " Let's cut up Abbey Lane." 

They turned aside and were making their way to the 
path that led under the Abbey wall to the high road, when 
they saw Dr. Brydone and his son coming from that 
direction. 

" Really, there's a conspiracy of Brydones to waylay us 
this afternoon," Guy exclaimed petulantly. " We shall 
have to go through the Abbey grounds." 

Pauline had passed the wicket, which he had impulsively 
flung open, before she realized the violation of one of her 
agelong rules. 

" It's really rather jolly in here to-day," said Guy. " I 
think we're duffers not to come more often, you know." 

The autumn wind was booming round the plantation, and 
sweeping up the broad path down the hillside with a skelter 
of leaves that gave a wild gaiety to the usually tristful scene. 

" Why shouldn't we explore inside ? " suggested Guy. 
" There's something so exhilarating about this great West 
wind. Almost one could fancy it might blow away that 
ghost of a house." 

Pauline hesitated : since earliest childhood the Abbey 
had oppressed her with ill omen, and she could not over- 
come her prejudice in a moment. 




246 Guy and Pauline 

" You're not really afraid when you're with me ? 
persisted. 

Pauline surrendered, and they went across the etiolated 
lawn toward the entrance. The wind was roaring through 
every crevice, and the ivy was scratching restlessly at the 
panes or shivering where through the gaps it had crept in 
with furry tendrils. 

" It's rather fun to be walking up this staircase as if this 
were our own house," said Guy. 

Pauline had an impulse to go back, and she made a quick 
step to descend. 

" Where are you going ? " 

" Guy, I think I feel afraid." 

" Afraid of what ? " 

" Oh, not of anything. Just afraid." 

" Come, foolish one," he whispered gently. 

And she, though it was against her will, followed him up 
the echoing empty stairs. 

They went into every room, and Guy declared how they 
with their love were restoring to each of them the life it 
had known in the past. Here was a pleasant fancy, and 
Pauline hoped it might be true. In the thought that their 
presence was in a way the bestowal of charity on these 
maltreated halls she lost much of her alarm and began to 
enjoy the solitude spent with Guy. Whether they looked 
out at the wilderness that once was a garden or at the rank 
lawn in front, the thunderous wind surging round the house 
brought them closer together in the consciousness of their 
own shelter and their own peace in this deserted habitation. 

" Now, confess," said Guy. " Haven't we been rather 
stupid to neglect such a refuge ? " 

" But, Guy, we haven't needed a refuge very often," 
objected Pauline, who for all that she was losing some of 
her dread of the Abbey was by no means inclined to set up 
a precedent for going there too often. 



Another Autumn 247 

" Not yet," he admitted. " But with winter coming on 
and the wet days that will either keep us indoors or else 
prevent us from doing anything but walk perpetually along 
splashy roads, we shan't be sorry to have a place like this to 
which we can retreat in comparative comfort." 

" Oh, Guy," Pauline asked anxiously. " I suppose we 
ought to come here ? " 

" Why on earth not ? " 

" Don't be angry. But the idea just flashed through my 
mind that perhaps Mother wouldn't like us to come here 
very often." 

He sighed deeply. 

" Really, sometimes I wonder what is the good of being 
engaged. Are we for ever to be hemmed in by the con- 
ventions of a place like Wychford ? " 

" Oh, but I expect Mother wouldn't mind really," said 
Pauline, reassuring herself and him. " I'm always liable to 
these fits of doubt. Sometimes I feel quite weighed down 
by the responsibility of being grown up." 

She laughed at herself, and the laughter ringing through 
the hollow house seemed to return and mock her with a 
mirthless echo. 

" Oh, Guy," she exclaimed. " Oh, Guy, I wish I hadn't 
laughed then. Did you hear how strangely it seemed as if 
the house laughed back at me ? " 

She had gripped his arm, and Guy startled by her gesture 
exclaimed rather irritably that she ought to control her 
nerves. 

" Well, don't let's stay in this room. I don't like the 
green light that the ivy is giving your face." 

" What next ? " he grumbled. " Well, let's go out on the 
balcony." 

They went half way downstairs to the door that opened 
on a large balustraded terrace with steps leading from 
either end into the ruined garden. The wind beat against 



248 Guy and Pauline 

them with such force here that very soon they went back 
into the house, and Guy found a small room looking out on 
the terrace, in which he persuaded Pauline to come and sit 
for a while. All the other rooms in the house had been so 
dreadfully decayed, so much battered by every humiliation 
time could inflict upon them x that this small parlour was in 
contrast positively habitable. It gave the impression of 
being perhaps the last place to which the long vanished 
owners had desperately held. There was a rusty hob-grate 
and in the window a deep wooden seat ; while the walls 
were still painted with courtly scenes, and the inlaid wooden 
floor gave a decency which everywhere else had been 
destroyed by the mouldering boards. 

" I say, it would be fun to light a fire some time," said 
Guy. " This is just the room for us." 

" It's rather a frightening room," said Pauline doubt- 
fully. 

" Dearest, you insist on being frightened by everything 
this afternoon," he answered. 

" No, but this room is frightening, Guy," she persisted. 
" This seems so near to being lived in by dead people." 

" And what can dead people do to you and me ? " he 
asked with that sidelong mocking smile which she half 
disliked, half loved. 

Pauline looked back over her shoulder once : then she 
came across to where he invited her to sit in the window-bay. 

" I ought to have brought my diamond pencil," he said. 
" This is such a window for mottoes. Why, I declare ! 
Somebody has scrawled one. Look, Pauline. Pauline, look ! 
1770. R.G. P.P. inside a heart. Oh, what a pity it wasn't 
P.G. for Pauline Grey. Still the G can stand for Guy. Oh, 
really, I think it's an extraordinary coincidence ! P.P. ? 
We can find out which of the Fentons that was. We'll 
look up in the history of the family. Darling, I am so 
glad we came to this little room. Think of those lovers 



Another Autumn 249 

who sat here once like us. Pauline, it makes me cherish 
you so." 

She sat upon his knee, because the window seat was dusty 
and,because in this place of fled lovers she wanted to be held 
closely to his heart. 

The wind boomed and moaned, and the sun breaking 
through the clouds lit up the walls with a wild yellow light. 

Suddenly Pauline drew away from his arms. 

" Shadows went by the window," she cried. " Guy, I 
feel afraid. I feel afraid. There's a footstep." 

She was lily-white, whose cheeks had but now been 
burning so fiercely. 

" Nonsense," he replied half-roughly. " It was that 
burst of sunshine." 

" Guy, there were shadows. Hark ! " 

She nearly screamed, because footsteps were going down 
the stairs of the empty house. 

" It must have been the caretaker," said Guy. 

" I saw a white person. Guy, never never let us come 
here again." 

" You don't seriously think you saw a ghost ? " he 
asked. 

" Guy, how do I know ? Come away, into the air. We 
should never have come here. Oh, this room ! I feel as if 
I should faint." 

" I'll see who it was," said Guy springing up. 

" No, don't leave me. Wait for me. I'll come with 
you." 

They hurried down the stairs and when they reached the 
pallid lawn they saw Margaret and Monica in their white 
coats disappearing among the yew trees by the entrance. 

" There are your ghosts," said Guy laughing. 

Yet, though Guy scoffed at her fears, Pauline was not 
sure that she would not have preferred a ghost to that 
disquieting passage of her sisters without hail or comment. 



250 Guy and Pauline 






Yet perhaps after all they had not seen her and Guy in that 
sinister small parlour. 

" Shall we catch them up ? " he asked. 

And Pauline with a breath of dismay was conscious of an 
inclination to pretend that they had not been here this 
afternoon. She discovered herself, as it were, proposing 
to Guy that they should not overtake Monica and Margaret. 
A secretiveness she had never known before had seized her 
soul, and she hoped that their presence in the Abbey was 
unknown. Guy divined at once that she did not want to 
overtake her sisters, and he kept her under the trees, where 
they watched each assault of the wind tearing at the little 
foliage that still remained. He guided her tenderly away 
from the sight of the house ; and they walked along the 
broad path down through the shrubbery, meeting a rout of 
brown and red and yellow leaves that swept by them. She 
clung to Guy's arm as if this urgent and tumultuous wind 
had the power to sweep her too into the confusion : such 
an affraying journey was life beginning to seem. This 
ghastly elation of the October weather would not allow her 
breath to examine the perplexity in which she had involved 
herself. She felt that if the wind blew any louder, she 
would have to scream out in defiance of its violence or else 
surrender miserably and be whirled into oblivion. A brown 
oakleaf had escaped from the perishable host and was 
palpitating in a fold of her sleeve like a hunted creature ; 
but when Pauline would have rescued it at the same moment 
a gust came roaring up the walk under the hissing trees, and 
the driven leaf was torn from its refuge and flung high into 
the air to join the myriads in their giddy riot of death. 

" Come away from here," she cried to Guy. " Come 
away or I shall go mad in this wind." 

He looked at her with a sort of judicial demeanour, as if 
he were in doubt whether he ought not to reprove such 
excitement. 



Another Autumn 251 

" It was really beginning to blow quite fiercely," he said 
when they had reached the comparative stillness of Abbey- 
Lane. 

Behind them Pauline still heard with terror and hatred 
the moaning of the trees, and she hurried away from the 
sound. 

" Never, never will I go there again. Why did you ask 
me to go there ? I would sooner have met a thousand 
Brydones than have been in that house." 

" Pauline," he protested. " You really do sometimes 
encourage yourself to be overwrought." 

" Guy, don't lecture me," she said, turning upon him 
fiercely. 

" Well, don't let the whole of Wychford see that you're 
in a temper," he retorted. " People haven't yet got over 
the idea of us two as a natural curiosity of the neighbour- 
hood. I don't want . . . and I don't suppose you're very 
anxious for these yokels to discuss our quarrels in the post- 
office to-night." 

" I don't mind what anybody does," said Pauline desper- 
ately. " I only want to be out of this wind this wind." 

She was rather glad that Guy, perhaps to punish her for 
the loss of control, said he must go and work instead of 
coming back to tea at the Rectory. It strangely gave her 
the ability to smile at him and be in their parting herself 
again, whereas had he come back with her she knew that she 
would still have felt irritated. Her smile may have abashed 
his ill-humour, for he seemed inclined to change his mind 
about the need for work ; but she would not let him and 
hurried towards home at the back of the west wind. Should 
she ask her sisters if they had seen her in the Abbey ? It 
would be better to wait until they said something first. It 
would really be best to say nothing about this afternoon. 
Tea was in the nursery that day, for the Rector was 
holding some sort of colloquy in the drawing-room which 



252 Guy ana Pauline 

he always used for parochial business, because he dreaded 
having his seeds scattered by the awkward fingers of the flock. 

Tea had not come in yet, and Pauline took her familiar 
seat in the window, glad to be out of the wind but ponder- 
ing a little mournfully the lawn mottled with leaves, and 
the lily-pond that was being seamed and crinkled by every 
gust that skated across the surface. When the others 
arrived, Pauline knew that she turned round to greet them 
defiantly, although she would have given much not to feel 
excuseful like this. 

" You didn't see Monica and me ? " Margaret asked. 

" Only after you'd gone too far for us to call to you," 
Pauline answered, nervously assuring herself that Margaret 
had not tried to ' catch her out,' as Janet would have said. 

" We had taken the short cut through the Abbey," 
Monica explained. 

Pauline felt that what Monica meant to say had been : 
' we did not spy upon you deliberately.' And that she 
should have had this instinct of putting her sisters in the 
wrong prepared her for something unpleasant, that and the 
fuss her mother was making over the tea-tray. Pauline 
was more than ever grateful to the impulse which had not 
allowed Guy to change his mind and come back with her. As 
soon as tea was over, Margaret and Monica went away to 
practise a duet ; and in the manner of their going from the 
room Pauline felt the louring of the atmosphere. 

Her mother began at once : 

" Pauline, I'm surprized at your going into the Abbey 
with Guy." 

" Well, it was really an accident. I mean it was because 
we wanted not to meet any of the Brydones, who were 
rushing at us from every side." 

Pauline tried to laugh, but her mother looked down at 
the milk jug and flushed nearly to crimson in the embarrass- 
ment of something she was forcing herself to say. 






Another Autumn 253 

" It's not merely going into the Abbey ... no ... not 
merely that . . . no, not merely going into the Abbey 
. . . but to let Guy make love to you like that is so vulgar. 
Pauline, it's the sort of way that servants behave when 
they're in love." 

She sprang from the window-seat. 

" Mother, what do you mean ? " 

"Margaret and Monica saw you sitting on Guy's knee. 
In any case I would rather you never did that. In any case 
. . . yes . . . but in a place where people passing might 
have seen . . . yes, would have seen . . . oh, it was 
inexcusable ... I shall have to make much stricter 
rules. . . ." 

"Are you going to speak to Guy about this ? " Pauline 
asked. The house seemed to be whirling away like a leaf, 
such a shattering of her love were these words of her 
mother. 

" How can I speak to Guy about it ? " Mrs. Grey 
demanded irritably. " How can I, Pauline ? It has nearly 
choked me to speak to you." 

" I think Monica and Margaret are almost wicked," 
Pauline cried in flames. " They are trying to destroy every- 
thing. They are, they are. No, Mother, you shan't defend 
them. I knew they felt guilty when they went out of the 
room like that. How dare they put horrible thoughts in 
your mind ? How dare they ? They're cruel to me. And 
you're cruel to me. I don't understand what's happening 
to everybody. You'll make me hate you all, if you speak 
like that." 

She rushed from the nursery and went first to the music- 
room where Margaret was sounding deep notes, hanging 
over her violoncello, and where Monica was playing one 
of those contained, somewhat frigid accompaniments. 

" Margaret and Monica," said Pauline standing in the 
doorway. " You're never to dare to speak about me to 



254 Guy and Pauline 

Mother as you must have spoken this afternoon. Because 
neither of you have any emotion but conceit and selfishness, 
you shall not be jealous of Guy and me. Margaret, you can 
have no heart. I shall write to Richard and tell him you're 
heartless. Don't smile down at your violoncello. You 
shall not rule me into being like yourself. Oh, I'll never 
play music with either of you again." 

Then she left them and in her white room for an hour 
she listened hopelessly to the trolling wind. 



November 

GUY was very indignant when he heard from 
Pauline the sequel of her sisters' vigilance. That 
they should afterward have tried to atone with 
gentleness for what they had made her suffer did not avail 
with him. Monica and Margaret now impressed him with 
their unworldly beauty in a strange way, for they became 
sinister figures like the Lady Geraldine in Christabel, sly 
malignant sylphs set in ambush to haunt the romantic 
path of his love. He was intensely aware that he ought 
not to resent their interference, but that he ought in fact 
to acknowledge the justice of it and by a stoical endeavour 
prove himself entitled to the cares of this long engagement. 
Actually Guy was enduring a violent jealousy, and illogically 
he began to declare how the others were jealous of him and 
Pauline The consciousness that he could not carry her off 
into immediate marriage galled him and he suffered all the 
pangs of an unmerited servitude. He and Pauline became 
the prisoners of tyrants who were urging them to accept 
the yoke of convention ; the more he suffered, the more he 
knew in his heart that he was culpable, and the more 
culpable he recognized himself, the more he chafed against 
the burden of waiting. All the resolutions that with the 
announcement of their betrothal had seemed to sail before 
a prospering breeze now turned and beat up against adverse 
influences and were every moment in danger of being 
irreparably wrecked. 

Naturally coincident with all the stress of a situation, 
that owing to the temperament of the Greys was never 
relieved by discussion, was a complete failure to advance on 

255 



256 Guy and Pauline 



the private road of his poetical ambition. All that he had 
written was seeming vain and bad : all that he was now 
trying to write deteriorated with every word painfully 
inscribed upon the cheerless empty page. He had con- 
ceived a set of eclogues that were to mark his contempt for 
the feverish incompetence of the modern school, whose 
ears had been corrupted by Wagner's filthy din ; and all he 
could manage to achieve were seeming the banal inspirations 
of Mendelssohn. Guy was like an alchemist perpetually on 
the verge of discovering the stone that will transmute base 
metals to gold as he tried to find the secret by which such 
an one as Beethoven could purify with art the most violent 
emotions of humanity, yet always preserve their intrinsic 
value. He craved the secret which even the most obscure 
Elizabethans seemed to have possessed, that unearthly 
power of harmony which could fuse all baseness in a glitter- 
ing song. Passion had never lost itself in arid decoration 
when they sang ; nor yet had it ever betrayed itself with 
that impudently direct appeal these modern lyrists made, 
these shameless Rousseaus of verse. Yet he was as bad as 
any of them, for he was either like them when he tried to 
write his heart, or he expired in the mere sound of words 
like the degenerate ruck of the Caroline heirs to a great 
tradition. He was almost on the point of proclaiming his 
final failure, and if at that moment he could have received 
from his father the offer to come and teach small boys at 
Fox Hall, he would have gone. 

And yet would he have gone ? Could he abandon the 
delight of being with Pauline ? The nearer he came to 
confessing his failure, the more he longed for her company. 
He was surely now in the midway of the thorny path of 
love, and whether he progressed or retreated he could not 
escape the spines. Well had he said to himself that night in 
May : * La belle Dame sans mercy bath thee in thrall.'' 

All the fire and fever of his present life on the outskirts 






Another Autumn 257 

of a haunted country was for his imagination alone. How- 
ever timidly his pen approached those dreams, they vanished ; 
and whenever his pen betrayed him, Guy turned despair- 
ingly again to Pauline herself. These days without her were 
every day more unendurable. Once he had been content 
to talk about her to Mrs. Grey and her sisters, to listen to 
their praise of her : now every word they spoke wounded 
his pride. This madness of love could only feed itself in the 
very dungeons of his mind ; and unless she were with him it 
did so horribly gorge itself that, if he had not swiftly seen 
her again, the madness would have broken the bars of its 
prison and ridden him like a hag. 

It was when Guy had worked himself to this pitch of 
desire for the remedy of her sweet presence that Pauline 
was denied to him. He knew he must blame himself because, 
even after the warning of that afternoon in the Abbey, 
whenever they were together he would carry her away into 
the country, whence they would not return sometimes until 
night had fallen. Worse than that, by his now continuous 
withdrawal from the life of the Rectory he must have 
disquieted her family. He saw that they were becoming 
anxious about Pauline, but for that very reason he could 
not bring himself to mitigate a solitary doubt of theirs. 
Even to talk about her in the lightest way was now become 
an outrage upon the seclusion of their joint life. Such a 
conversation as that with Margaret about the silver photo- 
graph frame was now unimaginable. What right had 
anyone to know even what picture of Pauline burned upon 
his wall in the night-time ? At first Pauline herself when 
the memory of the shock her mother's words had been to 
her died out, tried to justify the attitude of guardianship. 
She would explain to Guy how, ever since she could 
remember, her mother and sisters had treated her with 
this vigilance. They had, as she said, always so much 
adored her that it was natural for them to be unable at 



258 Guy and Pauline 



once to relinquish entirely to someone else the complet 
possession of her. Yet Guy must not be jealous, because she 
told them none of her secrets now : indeed she was 
distressed at the thought of how far outside her confidence 
they reproachfully esteemed themselves. Her love for him 
had severely shaken the perfect unity of their immemorial 
life together, and he must be generous and understand how 
gradual would have to be their renunciation of her to him. 
Guy, however, would not allow Pauline to have regrets 
like this. The most trivial consideration of her family 
aroused his jealousy ; and when Mrs. Grey said she thought 
it would be better if the old rule of only seeing Pauline 
twice a week came into force again, Guy was determined 
that Pauline should resent the step as bitterly as he resented 
it. All the time he was with her he would be lamenting the 
briefness of their permitted intercourse, and since the 
weather was now so wet that even they could not reasonably 
claim beneath such streaming skies the right to abscond 
into deserted country, November shed a gloom upon 
their love. 

On the days when Guy did come to the Rectory, no one 
attempted to rob them of their privacy ; they were always 
granted the nursery to themselves, and even sometimes they 
had tea there together, if visitors came, so that the privilege 
of their few hours should not be infringed. Nevertheless, 
the old sense of time and the world at their service was lost. 
The dull November dusk came swiftly on ; and out in the 
passage the cuckoo with maddening reiteration proclaimed 
each fleeting fifteen minutes. Often Guy was asked to 
dinner, but the old pleasure was mostly gone, for in the 
evening he and Pauline were not expected to retire by 
themselves ; and there was always an implied reproach for 
his influence when she refused to play her violin. Then 
there came a dreadful day, because some cousins had arrived 
to stay at the Rectory ; for these two girls like everyone 






Another Autumn 259 

else had been accustomed to adore Pauline, and so were 
determined to take an extreme interest in her engagement. 

" We seem to have a ghastly lure for them," Guy groaned 
in exasperation, when Pauline had managed at last to secure 
the nursery for themselves. 

" Guy, they're only staying a week." 

" Well," he protested, " and for me to stay with you 
a week takes months of these miserable little hours we have. 
Oh, Pauline, I must see more of you." 

Then back came the adoring cousins, and Guy felt that 
no torture he could imagine was bad enough for them. 
Their cordiality to him was so great that he had to be 
superficially pleasant ; and, as smile after smile was wrung 
from him, by the end of the afternoon he felt sick with the 
agony his politeness had cost. 

" Hurry and dress ! hurry ! hurry ! " he begged Pauline, 
in a whisper when the gong sounded. " Let us at least have 
five minutes alone before dinner comes and I must go." 

Pauline was scarcely five minutes in coming down again, 
but Guy counted each tick of the clock with desperate 
heartsickness. 

" Oh, my darling, my darling," he said when she was held 
in the so dearly longed for, the so terribly brief embrace. 
" I cannot bear the torment of to-day." 

She tried to soothe him ; but Guy had reached the 
depths and this relief after such effort was almost too late. 

" Pauline, listen," he said quickly. " You must come and 
say good-night to me in the garden. Do you hear ? You 
must. You must. I shan't sleep unless you do. You must." 

" Guy," she murmured, " I couldn't." 

" You must. Promise . . . you must. Come down and 
say good- night to me on the lawn. I shall wait there all 
night. I shall wait . . ." 

The cuckoo burst out to cry seven o'clock. . 

" You must come. You must come. Promise." 






260 Guy and Pauline 

" Perhaps," she whispered faintly. Then she said she 
could not. 

Guy went to the door. 

" Remember, I have not kissed you good-night," he pro- 
claimed solemnly. " And now I'm going. I shall wait from 
eleven o'clock, and stay all night until you have kissed me." 

" Oh, but Guy . . ." 

" To-night," he said. " You promise ? " 

" Guy, if I dare, if I dare." 

There were footsteps in the passage. He fled across 
the room, kissed her momentarily and hurried out, saying 
good-bye to the cousins, as he passed them, with a kind of 
exultant affection. 

Outside, the November night hung humid and oppres- 
sive ; Guy looking up felt rain falling softly yet with 
gathering intensity, and he lingered a few moments in the 
drive held by the whispering blackness. Behind him, the 
lamplight of the Rectory windows seemed for the moment 
sad and unattainable and gave him the fancy he was drifting 
away from a friendly shore. Then suddenly he marched 
away along the drive, content ; for the thought of * to- 
night,' which latterly had often brought such a presenti- 
ment of loneliness, now sounded upon his imagination like 
the rapture of a nightingale. 

Flashers Mead had never appeared so desirable as now 
when it was the prelude to such an enterprise as this of 
consecrating with a last embrace the rain and gloom of 
November. If he had any hesitation about the Tightness 
or even, setting probity aside, about the prudence of such 
an action, he justified himself with romantic reasons ; and 
if he was driven by conscience to an ultimate defence, he 
justified himself with the exceptional circumstances that 
gave him a sanction to accept from Pauline this sacrifice of 
her traditions. Impulses to consider what he was doing 
were easily dismissed : indeed before he reached his house 



Another Autumn 261 

there was not one left. Inside, the warmth and comfort of 
Flashers Mead were additional incentives to prosecute his 
resolve ; every gleaming book, the breathing of the dog 
upon the mat before the fire, the gentle purr of the lamp, 
all seemed to demand that voluptuous renunciation which 
would later urge him forth again into the night. That it 
would probably be raining was not to prove an obstacle : 
Pauline would be more sure to come if she thought he were 
standing outside in the rain. It was a second Eve of St. 
Agnes ; and Guy went across to his shelf and took down 
Keats. He had come to the knights and ladies praying in 
their dumb oratories, when there was a knock at the front- 
door, and his mind leapt to the thought that Pauline 
might have sent a note by Birdwood to prevent his coming 
to-night. The knock sounded again, and as Miss Peasey 
was evidently too deeply immersed in The Pilgrim's Progress, 
her vespertine lectionary, to pay heed to visitors at this hour 
of nine o'clock, he must go down and open the door himself. 

" Are we disturbing you ? " 

It was the voice of Brydone, and with Willsher in his 
wake he came into the hall. 

" Charlie and I have made several shots to find you in, 
but of course we know you're a busy man nowadays." 

" Go on upstairs, will you ? " said Guy making a 
tremendous effort to appear hospitable. " I'll dig out the 
whisky." 

He went along and shouted in Miss Peasey's ear what 
was wanted. She looked up as if it were Apollyon himself 
come to affront her holy abstraction. 

" I think there's some left from that bottle we got in 
August. ... I shall lay it on the mat," she told him. 

Guy nodded encouragingly and went upstairs to join his 
guests. 

"Well, I suppose you'll be soon having a missus in charge 
here," said Brydone heartily. 



262 Guy and Pauline 

Willsher hummed Bachelor Boys as a contributory echo 
of the question. 

" Oh, no, we're not getting married at once, you know," 
Guy explained. 

" Well, you're quite right," Brydone declared heartily. 
" After all, being close at hand like this, you're not much 
likely to draw a blank in the lottery." 

" Marriage is a lottery, isn't it ? " said Guy with polite 
sarcasm. 

" Rather," sighed Willsher. " Terrific ! " 

" I suppose I shall have to be looking round preparatory 
to getting married in two or three years' time," Brydone 
added. " Well, you see, after Christmas I shall be 
thinking about my finals, and then I'm going to come in 
as the old man's partner. Country people like it best, 
if a doctor's married. No doubt about that, is there, 
Charlie ? " 

The solicitor's son agreed it was indubitable. 

" Of course if I had the cash to hang on in Harley Street 
for ten years as a specialist, it would be another matter. 
But I can't, so there it is." 

Even this fellow had his dreams, Guy thought ; even he 
would make acquaintance with thwarted ambitions. 

" Been doing anything with a rod lately ? " asked Willsher, 
whose pastime, when he could not be standing in action on 
the river's bank, was always to steer a conversation in the 
direction of anglers' gossip. 

" No, not lately," said Guy. " Though I knocked down 
a Jot of apples with one last month." 

" Ha-ha ! that's good," Brydone ejaculated. " That's 
very good, Hazlewood. That's good, isn't it, Charlie ? " 

" Awfully good," agreed the angler. 

Their appreciation seemed perfectly genuine, and Guy 
was touched by the readiness of them to be entertained by 
his lame wit. 



Another Autumn 263 

" I mustn't forget to tell the old man that," Brydone 
chuckled. " He's always digging at me over the fish. Done 
anything with a rod lately ? I knocked down a lot of apples 
last month. Your governor will like that, Charlie ! " 

Guy heard the clink of a tray deposited cautiously on the 
floor of the passage outside. He allowed Miss Peasey time 
to retreat before he opened the door, because it was one of 
the clauses in her charter that she was never, as a lady- 
housekeeper, to be asked to bring a tray into a room when 
anyone but Guy was present. He hoped that after they 
had drunk, his visitors would depart ; but alas, the un- 
intended charm of his conversation seemed likely to prolong 
their stay. 

" Rabelais," Brydone read slowly as he saw the volumes 
on the shelves. " That's a bit thick, isn't it ? " 

" In quantity or quality, do you mean ? " asked 
Guy. 

" I've heard that's the thickest book ever written," said 
Brydone. 

" Do you read old French easily ? " asked Guy. 

" Oh, it's in old French, is it ? " said Brydone in a dis- 
appointed voice. " That would biff me." 

A silence fell upon the room, a silence that seemed to 
symbolize the ' biffing ' of the doctor's son by old French. 
Willsher took the opportunity to steer the conversation 
back to fish, and ten o'clock struck in the middle of an 
argument between him and his friend over the merits of 
two artificial flies. Guy must be on the Rectory lawn by 
eleven o'clock, and he began to be anxious, so animated was 
the discussion, about the departure of these well-meaning 
intruders. He did not want to plunge straight from their 
company into the glorious darkness that would hold Pauline ; 
and he eyed the volume of Keats lying face downward on 
the table, hoping he would be allowed to come back to the 
knights and ladies praying in their dumb oratories, while 



264 Guy and Pauline 

he thought with a thrill of the moment when he should 
be able to read : 

And they are gone ; ay, ages long ago 
These lovers fled away into the storm. 

" If you can't get a chub any other way, you can some- 
times get him with a bit of bacon," Willsher was saying. 
" And I know a fellow who caught one of those woppers 
under Marston's Mill with a cherry. Fact, I assure you." 

" I know a man at Oldbridge, who caught a four pounder 
with a bumble-bee." 

" I caught a six pounder at Oxford with a mouse's head 
myself," Guy declared. 

The friends looked at him in the admiration and envy 
with which anglers welcome a pleasant companionable 
sort of a lie. It was a bad move, for it seemed as if by that 
lie he had drawn closer the bonds of sympathy between 
himself and his guests. They visibly warmed to his com- 
pany, for Brydone at once invited himself to another * tot ' 
and was obviously settling down to a competitive talk 
about big fish ; while Willsher's first shyness turned to 
familiarity, so completely indeed that he asked if Guy 
would mind his moving the furniture in order to try to 
explain to that fathead Brydone the exact promontory of 
the Greenrush where he had caught thirty trout in an hour 
when the mayfly was up two years ago. 

Half-past-ten struck from the church tower, and Guy 
became desperate. There was nothing he hated so much 
as asking people to go, which was one reason why he always 
discouraged them at the beginning ; but it really seemed 
as if he must bring himself to the point of asking Brydone 
and Willsher to leave him to his work. He decided to allow 
them until a quarter-to-eleven. The minutes dragged along, 
and when the quarter sounded Guy said he was sorry but 
that he was very much afraid he would have to work now. 



Another Autumn 265 

" Right O," said Brydone. " We'll tootle off." But it 
took ten minutes to get them out of the house, and when at 
last they disappeared into the mazy garden Guy was in a 
fume of anxiety about his tryst. He could not now go 
round by Rectory Lane, as he had intended at first. No 
doubt Brydone and Willsher would stay talking half-an- 
hour on the bridge, for the rain had stopped and they had 
given the impression of having the night before them. 
In fact Brydone had once definitely announced that the 
night w r as still young. Yet in a way the fact of their near- 
ness and of his having to avoid them added a zest to the 
adventure. 

How dark it was and how heavily the trees dripped in the 
orchard. Guy pulled the canoe from the shed and dragged 
it squeaking over the wet grass : not even he in the exalta- 
tion of the moment was going to swim the Hellespont. 

When he was in the canoe and driving it with silent 
strokes along the straight black stream ; when the lan- 
tern was put out and the darkness was at first so thick 
that like the water it seemed to resist the sweep of his 
paddle, Guy could no longer imagine that Pauline would 
venture out. He became oppressed by the impenetrable 
and humid air, and he began to long for rain to fall as if it 
would reassure him that nature in such an annihilation of 
form was still alive. Now he had swung past the over- 
hanging willows of the churchyard ; his eyes grown 
accustomed to the darkness discovered against a vague sky 
the vague bulk of the church, and in a minute or two he 
could be sure that he was come to the Rectory paddock. 
He was wet to the knees and his feet, sagging in the grass, 
seemed to make a most prodigious noise with their gurgling. 

Guy was too early when he crept over the lawn, for 
there were still lights in all the upper windows, and he 
withdrew to the plantation, where he waited in rapt patience 
while the branches dripped and pattered, dripped and 



266 Guy and Pauline 



pattered ceaselessly. One by one the lights had faded out, 
but still he must not signal to Pauline. How should he 
after all make known to her his presence on that dark lawn ? 
Scarcely would she perceive from her window his shadowy 
form. He must not even whisper ; he must not strike a 
match. Suddenly a light crossed his vision and he started 
violently before he realized that it was only a glow-worm 
moving with laborious progress along the damp edge of 
the lawn. Black indeed was the hour when a glow-worm 
belated on this drear night of the year's decline could so 
alarm him. For a while he watched the creeping phosphores- 
cence and wondered at it in kindly fellowship, thinking 
how like it was to a human lover, so small and solitary in 
this gigantic gloom. Then he began to pick it up and, as 
it moved across his hand and gave it with the wan fire a 
ghostly semblance, he resolved to signal with this lamp 
to Pauline. 

Midnight crashed its tale from the belfry, and nowhere 
in the long house was there any light. There was nothing 
now in the world but himself and this glow-worm wandering 
across his hand. He moved nearer to the house and stood 
beneath Pauline's window ; surely she was leaning out : 
surely that was her shadow tremulous on the inspissate air. 
Guy waved, and the pale light moving to and fro seemed 
to exact an answer, for something fell at his feet and by 
the glow-worm's melancholy radiance he read ' now ' 
on a piece of paper. Gratefully he set the insect down to 
vanish upon its own amorous path into the murk. Not a 
tree quivered, not a raindrop slipped from a blade of grass 
but Guy held out his arms to clasp his long awaited Pauline. 
The ' now ' prolonged its duration into hours, it seemed ; 
and then when she did come she was in his arms before he 
knew by her step or by the rustle of her dress that she was 
coming. She was in his arms as though like a moth she had 
floated upon a flower. 






Another Autumn 267 

Their good-night was kissed in a moment, and she was 
gone like a moth that cannot stay upon the flower it visits. 

Guy waited until he thought he saw her leaning from her 
window once more. Then he drew close to the wall of the 
house and strained his eyes to catch the farewell of her 
hand. As he looked up, the rain began to fall again ; and 
in an ecstasy he glided back to Flashers Mead, adoring the 
drench of his clothes and the soft sighing of the rain. 



ANOTHER WINTER 



December 

IN the first elation of having been able to prove to Guv 
how exclusively she loved him, Pauline had no misgivings 
about the effect upon herself of that dark descent into 
the garden. It was only when Guy, urging the success of what 
almost seemed disturbingly to state itself as an experiment, 
begged her to go farther and take the negligible risk of 
coming out with him on the river at night, that she began 
to doubt if she had acted well in yielding that first small 
favour. The problem, that she must leave herself to deter- 
mine without a hint of its existence to anyone outside, 
stuck unresolved at the back of her conscience, whence in 
moments of depression it would, as it were, leap forth to 
assail her peace of mind. She was positive, however, that 
the precedent had been unwise from whatever point of 
view regarded, and for a while she resisted earnestly the 
arguments Guy evoked about the privileges conferred on 
lovers by the customary judgment of the world. Never- 
theless in the end she did surrender anew to his persistence, 
and on two nights of dim December moonlight she escaped 
from the house and floated with him unhappily upon the 
dark stream, turning pale at every lean branch that stretched 
out from the bank, at every shadow, and at every sound of 
distant dogs' barking. 

Guy would not understand the falseness of this pleasure 
and, treating with scorn her alarm, he used to invent excuses 
by which she would be able to account for the emptiness 
of the room in the event of her absence being discovered. 
The mere prospect of such deceit distressed Pauline, and 
when she realized that even already by doing what she had 

271 



272 Guy and Pauline 



done deceit had been set on foot, she told him she could 
not bear the self-reproach which followed. It was true, as 
she admitted, that there was really nothing to regret except 
the unhappiness the discovery of her action would bring 
to her family, but of course the chief effect of this was that 
Guy became even more jealous of her sisters' influence. 
The disaccord between him and them was making visible 
progress, and much of love's joy was being swallowed up in 
the sadness this brought to her. She wished now that she 
had said nothing about the rebuke she had earned for that 
unfortunate afternoon in the Abbey. Margaret and Monica 
had both tried hard ever since to atone for the part they 
played, and having forgiven them and accepted the justice 
of their point of view, Pauline was distressed that Guy 
should treat them now practically as avowed enemies. 
She might have known that happiness such as hers could 
not last, and she reproached herself for the many times 
she had triumphed in the thought of the superiority of 
their love to any other she had witnessed. She deserved 
this anxiety and this doubt as a punishment for the way in 
which she had often scoffed at the dulness of other people 
who were in love. Marriage, which at first had been only 
a delightful dream the remoteness of which did not matter, 
was now appearing the only remedy for the ills that were 
gathering round Guy and her. As soon as she had set her 
heart upon this panacea she began to watch Guy's work 
from the point of view of its subservience to that end. She 
was anxious that he should work particularly hard and she 
became very sensitive to any implication of laziness in the 
casual opinion that Margaret or Monica would sometimes 
express. Guy was obviously encouraged by the interest she 
took, and for a while in the new preoccupation of working 
together as it were for a common aim the strain of their 
restricted converse was allayed. 

One day early in December Gy announced that really he 






Another Winter 273 

thought he had now enough poems to make a rolume, news 
which roused Pauline to the greatest excitement and which 
on the same evening she triumphantly announced to her 
family at dinner. 

" My dears, his book is finished ! And, Father, he has 
translated some poems of that man that Latin creature 
you gave him on his birthday." 

" Propertius is difficult," said the Rector. " Very diffi- 
cult." 

" Oh, but I'm so glad he's difficult, because that will 
make it all the more valuable if Guy ... or won't it ? Oh, 
don't let me talk nonsense : but really, darlings, aren't you 
all glad that his book is finished ? " 

" We'll drink the poet's health," said the Rector. 

" Oh, Father, I must kiss you . . . aren't you pleased Guy 
appreciated your present ? " 

" Now, Pauline, you're sweeping your napkin down on 
the floor. . . ." 

" Oh, but Mother, I must kiss Francis for being so 
sweet." 

" He promised to show me the poems," said Margaret. 
" But Guy doesn't like me any more." 

" Oh, yes, Margaret, he does. Oh, Margaret, he really 
does. And if you say that, I shall have to break a secret. 
He's written two poems about you." 

Margaret flushed. 

" Has he ? Well, he must certainly show them to me 
first or I shall veto the publication." 

" Oh, darlings," Pauline cried. " I am happy to-night 1 
The famousness of Guy presently . . . and oh, I forgot to 
tell you something so touching that happened this morning. 
What do you think ? Miss Verney consulted me as to 
whether I thought it was time she began to wear caps." 

" Guy ought to write a poem about that," said Monica. 

" Oh, no, Monica, you're not to laugh at poor Miss 



Guy's 



274 Guy and Pauline 

Verney. I must tell her to-morrow morning about 
book. She so appreciates greatness." 

It was a delightful evening, and Pauline in her content- 
ment felt that she was back in the heart of that old Rectory 
life, so far did the confidence in Guy's justification of him- 
self enable her to leave behind the shadows of the past 
two months, and most of all those miserable escapades in 
the watery December moonlight. 

" A book, dear me, how important," said Miss Verney, 
when next morning Pauline was telling her the news, 
" Quite an important event for Wychford, I'm sure. I 
must write to the Stores and order a copy at once ... or 
perhaps, as a local celebrity . . . yes, I think, it would be 
kinder to patronize our Wychford stationer." 

" But, Miss Verney, it's not published yet, you know. We 
expect it won't be published before March at the earliest." 

" I don't think I ever met an author," said Miss Verney 
meditatively. " You see, my father being a sailor . . . 
really, an author in Wychford, . . . dear me, it's quite an 
important occasion." 

Pauline thought she would devote the afternoon to 
writing the good news to Richard, and Margaret hearing 
of her intention, announced surprizingly that Richard was 
coming back in April for two or three months. 

" Oh, Margaret, and you never told me." 

" Well, I didn't think you took much interest in Richard 
nowadays. He asked what had happened to you." 

" I am glad he's coming back, Margaret. But oh, do tell 
me if you are going to marry him." 

Margaret would not answer, but Pauline, all of whose 
hopes were roseate to-day, decided that Margaret had 
really made up her mind at last, and she went upstairs full 
of penitence for her neglect of Richard, but determined 
to make up for it by the good news she would send both 
of herself and of him. 



Another Winter 275 

WYCHFORD RECTORY 
OXON. 

December. 
My dear Richard, 

I am sorry that I've not written to you for so long, but 
I know you'll forgive me, because I have to think about so many 
things. Margaret has just told me you are coming back in 
April. Be sure it is April, because my birthday is on the first 
of May, you know, and you must be in England for my birth- 
day. Margaret looked very happy when she said you were 
coming home. Richard, I am sure that everything will be 
perfect. Guy's book is finished, and perhaps it will be pub- 
lished in March. If it's published early in March, I will 
send you a copy so that you can read it on the steamer coming 
home. There are two poems about Margaret, who was very 
sympathetic with Guy over me I That's one of the reasons 
why I'm sure that everything will be perfect for you. Guy 
wants to meet you very much. He says he admires action. 
That's because I told him about your bridge. Tour father and 
mother are always very sweet to us when we go and have tea 
with them. Miss Verney is going to wear caps'. Birdwood 
asked if you would bring him back a Goorcha's is that the 
way to spell it a Goorcha's knife because Godbold won't 
believe something he told him. Birdwood said you were a 
grand young chap and were wasted out in India. Father won 
a prize at Vincent Square for a yellow gladiolus. It's been 
christened now I've forgotten what, but after somebody who 
had a golden throat. Guy's dog is a lamb. A merry Christmas, 
and lots of love from 

Tour loving 

Pauline. 

Pauline looked forward to Richard's return because she 
hoped that if Margaret married him her own marriage to 
Guy would begin to appear more feasible, it being at present 



276 Guy and Pauline 






almost too difficult to imagine anything like marriage ex- 
ploding upon the quietude of the Rectory. The return of 
Richard, from the moment she eyed it in relation to her 
own affairs, assumed an importance it had never possessed 
before when it was only an ideal of childish sentiment, 
and Pauline made of it a foundation on which she built 
towering hopes. 

Guy, as soon as he had decided to publish his first volume, 
instantly acquired doubts about the prudence of the step, 
and he rather hurt Pauline's feelings by wanting Michael 
Fane to come and give him the support of his judgment. 

" I told you I should never be enough," she said sadly. 

He consoled her with various explanations of his reliance 
upon a friend's opinion, but he would not give up his idea of 
getting him and he wrote letter after letter until he was 
able to announce that for a week-end in mid-December 
Michael was actually pledged. 

" And I do want you to like him," said Guy earnestly. 

Pauline promised that of course she would like him, but 
in her heart she assured herself she never would. It was 
cerulean winter weather when the friend arrived, and 
Pauline who had latterly taken up the habit of often coming 
into the churchyard to talk for a while with Guy across the 
severing stream, abandoned the churchyard throughout that 
week-end. Guy was vexed by her withdrawal and vowed 
that in consequence all the pleasure of the visit had been 
spoilt. 

" For I've been rushing in and out all the time to see if 
you were not in sight, and I'm often absolutely boorish to 
Fane, who by the way loves your Rectory bedroom so much." 

" Has he condescended to let your book appear ? " 
asked Pauline. 

" Oh, rather, he says that everything I've included is quite 
all right. In fact he's a much less severe critic than I am 
myself." 



Another Winter 277 

Pauline had made up her mind, if possible, to avoid a 
meeting with Michael, but on Monday she relented, and they 
were introduced to each other. The colloquy on that 
turquoise morning, when the earth smelt fresh and the grass 
in the orchard was so vernally green, did not help Pauline 
to know much about Michael Fane, save that he was not so tall 
as Guy and that somehow he gave the impression of regard- 
ing life more like a portrait by Vandyck than a human being. 
He was cold, she settled, and she, as usual shy and blushful, 
could only have seemed stupid to him. 

That afternoon, when the disturbing friend had gone, 
Pauline and Guy went for a walk. 

" He admired you tremendously." 

" Did he ? " she made listless answer. 

" He said you were a fairy's child, and he also said you 
really were a wild rose." 

" What an exaggerated way of talking about somebody 
whom he has only seen for a moment." 

" Pauline," said Guy, affectionately rallying her, " aren't 
you being rather naughty rather wilful, really ? Didn't 
you like Michael ? " 

" Guy, you can't expect me to know whether I liked 
him in a minute. He made me feel shyer than even most 
people do." 

" Well, let's talk about the book instead," said Guy. 
" What colour shall the binding be ? " 

" What colour did he suggest ? " 

" I see you're determined to be horrid about my poor 
harmless Michael." 

" Well, why must he be brought down like this to approve 
of your book ? " 

" Oh, he has good taste, and besides he's interested in you 
and me." 

" What did you tell him about us ? " Pauline asked 
sharply. 



278 Guy and Pauline 



, 



" Nothing, my dearest, nothing," said Guy, flinging his 
stick for Bob to chase over the furrows. " At least," he 
added turning and looking down at her with eyebrows 
arched in pretended despair of her unreasonableness, " I 
expect I bored him to death with singing your praises." 

Still Pauline could not feel charitable, and still she could 
not smile at Guy. 

" Ah, my rose," he said tenderly. " Why will you droop ? 
Why will you care about people who cannot matter to us ? 
My own Pauline, can't you see that I called in a third person 
because I dare not trust myself now. All the day long, all 
the night long you are my care. I'm so dreadfully anxious 
to justify myself : I long for assurance at e^ery step : once 
I was self-confident, but I can't be self-confident any longer. 
Success is no responsibility in itself, but now . . ." 

" It's my responsibility," cried Pauline melting to him. 
" Oh, forgive me for being jealous. Darling boy, it's just 
my foolish ignorance that makes me jealous of some one 
who can give you more than I." 

" But no one can ! " he vowed. " I only asked Michael's 
advice because you are too kind a judge. My success is of 
such desperate importance to us two. What would it have 
mattered before I met you ? Now my failure would . . . 
oh, Pauline, failure is too horrible to think of." 

" As if you could fail," she chided gently. " And if you 
did fail, I would almost be glad, because I would love you 
all the more." 

" Pauline, would you ? " 

" Ah, no I wouldn't," she whispered. " Because I could 
not love you more that I do now." 

The dog with a sigh dropped his stick : he was become 
accustomed to these interludes. 

" Bob gives us up as hopeless," Guy laughed. 

" I'm not a bit sympathetic, you jealous dog," she said. 
" Because you have your master all day long." 



Another W^inter 279 

The next time Guy came to the Rectory, he brought with 
him the manuscript, so that Pauline could seal it for luck ; 
and they sat in the nursery, while Guy for the last enumera- 
tion turned over the pages one by one. 

" It represents so much," he said, " and it looks so little. 
My father will be rather surprized. I told him I should 
wait another year. I wonder if I ought to have waited." 

" Oh, no," said Pauline. " Everything else is waiting 
and waiting. It makes me so happy to think of these pages 
flying away like birds." 

" I hope they won't be like homing pigeons," said Guy. 
" It will be rather a blow if William Worrall rejects them." 

" Oh, but how could he be so foolish." 

" I don't think he will really," said Guy. " After all, a 
good many people have endorsed the first half, and I'm 
positive that what I've written here is better than that. 
I rather wish I'd finished the Eclogues though. Do you 
think perhaps I'd better wait after all ? " 

" Oh, no, Guy, don't wait." 

So, very solicitously the poems were wrapped up, and 
when they were tied and sealed and the parcel lay addressed 
upon the table, Mrs. Grey with Monica and Margaret 
came in. They were so sympathetic about the possible 
adventures in sight for that parcel, and Guy was so much his 
rather self-conscious self that the original relation between 
him and the family seemed perfectly restored. Pauline 
was glad to belong to them, and in her pride of Guy's 
achievement she basked in their simple affection, thrilling 
to every word or look or gesture that confirmed her desire 
of the cherished accord between Guy and the others. 

" Now I'm sure you'd both like to go and post Guy's 
poems," Mrs Grey exclaimed. " Yes . . . charming . . . 
to go and post them yourselves." 

Pauline waited anxiously for a moment, because of late 
Guy had often seemed impatient of these permissions granted 



280 Guy and Pauline 

to him by her mother, but this afternoon he was himself 
and full of the shy gratitude that made her wonder if indeed 
nearly a year could have flown by since their love had been 
declared. Dusk was falling when they reached the post- 
office. 

" Will you register it, Mr. Hazlewood ? " asked the post- 
mistress. 

Guy nodded, and the parcel left their hands : in silence 
they watched it vanish into the company of other parcels 
that carried so much less : then back they came through the 
twilight to tea at the Rectory, both feeling as if the first 
really important step toward marriage had been taken. 

" You see," said Guy, " if only these poems of mine are 
well received, my father must acknowledge my right to be 
here, and if he once admits that, what barrier can there be 
to our wedding ? " 

Pauline told him how much during the last month the 
distant prospect of their marriage had begun to weigh upon 
her, but now since that parcel had been left at the post- 
office, she said she would always talk of their wedding because 
that was such a much less remote word than marriage. 

" Come out to-night," said Guy suddenly. 

She put her hand on his arm. 

" Guy, don't ask me again." 

He was penitent at once, and full of promises never to 
ask her again to do anything that might cause an instant's 
remorse. They had reached the hall of the Rectory and in 
the shadows Pauline held him to her heart, suddenly caught 
in the flood of tenderness that a wife might have for a 
husband to whose faults she could be indulgent by the 
measure of his greater virtues kept, as it might be, for her 
alone. 






^January 

GUY, as soon as he had sent off the poems to 
a publisher, was much less violently driven by 
the stress of love, which latterly had urged him 
along so wayward a course. He began to acquire a per- 
spective and to lose some of that desperately clinging 
reliance upon present joys. The need of battling against 
an uncertain future had brought him to the pitch of 
madness at the thought of the hours of Pauline's company 
that must be wasted ; but now when to his sanguine 
hopes marriage presented itself as at last within sight, 
sometimes even seeming as close as the fall of this new year, 
he was anxious to set Pauline upon more tranquil waters, 
lest she too should like himself be the prey of wild imagina- 
tions that might destroy utterly one untempered by any 
except the gentler emotions of a secluded life. Her mother 
and sisters, whom he had come to regard as hostile interpre- 
ters of convention, took on again their old features of kindli- 
ness and grace ; and he was able to see without jealous 
torments how reasonable their attitude had been throughout, 
nay more than reasonable, how unworldly and noble-hearted 
it had been in confiding Pauline to the care of one who had 
so few pretensions to deserve her. He upbraided himself 
for having by his selfishness involved Pauline in the com- 
plexities of regrets for having done something against her 
judgment : and in this dreary rain of January, free from the 
burden of uncompleted labour, he now felt a more light- 
hearted assurance than he had known since the beginning 
of their love. 

281 






282 Guy and Pauline 

Bills came in by every post, but their ability to vex him 
had vanished in the promise his manuscript gave of a speedy 
defeat of all material difficulties. The reaction from the 
strain of decking his poems with the final touches that were 
to precede the trial of public judgment gave place to 
dreams. A dozen times Guy followed the manuscript step 
by step of its journey from the moment the insentient 
mailcart carried it away from Wychford to the moment 
when Mr. William Worrall threw a first casual glance to 
where it lay waiting for his perusal on the desk in the Covent 
Garden office. Guy saw the office-boy send off the formal 
postcard of acknowledgment that he had already received ; 
and in his dream he rather pitied the youth for his uncon- 
sciousness of what a treasure he was acknowledging merely 
in the ordinary routine of a morning's work. Perhaps the 
packet would lie unopened for two or three days in fact 
probably Mr. Worrall might not yet have resumed work, 
as they say, after a short Christmas vacation. Moreover 
when he came back to business, although at Guy's request 
for sponsors the poems had been vouched for by one or two 
reputed friends of the publisher with whom he was ac- 
quainted, he would no doubt still be inclined to postpone 
their examination. Then one morning he would almost 
inadvertently cut the string and glance idly at a page, and 
then . . . 

At this point the author's mental visions varied. Some- 
times Worrall would be so deeply transfixed by the revela- 
tion of a new planet swimming into ken that he would sit 
spellbound at his own good fortune, not emerging from a 
trance of delight until he sent a telegram inviting the poet 
to come post haste to town and discuss terms. In other 
dreams the publisher would distrust his own judgment and 
take the manuscript under his arm to a critic of taste, 
anxiously watching his face and as an expression of admira- 
tion gradually diffused itself knowing that his own wild 



Another Winter 283 

surmize had been true. There were many other variations 
of the first reception of the poems, but they all ended in 
the expenditure of sixpence on a telegram. Here the dream 
would amplify itself; and proofs, binding, paper, danced 
before Guy's vision ; while soon afterward the first reviews 
were coming in. At this stage the poet's triumph assumed 
a hundred shapes and diversities, and ultimately he could 
never decide between a leader on his work in The Times 
headed A NEW GENIUS or an eulogy on the principal page 
of The Daily Mail that galloped neck and neck for a column 
alongside one of The Letters of an Englishman. The former 
would bestow the greater honour : the latter would be 
more profitable : therefore in moments of unbridled 
optimism he was apt to allot both proclamations to his 
fortune. With such an inauguration of fame the rest was 
easy dreaming. His father would take a train to Shipcot 
on the same morning : if he read The Times at breakfast 
he would catch the eleven o'clock from Galton and, travelling 
by way of Basingstoke, reach Shipcot by half-past-two. 
Practically one might dream that before tea he would have 
settled .300 a year on his son, so that the pleasant news 
could be announced to the Rectory that very afternoon. 
In that case he and Pauline could be married in April ; and 
actually on her twenty-first birthday she would be his wife. 
They would not go to the Campagna this year, because 
these bills must be paid, unless his father, in an access of 
pride due to his having bought several more eulogies at 
bookstalls along the line, offered to pay all debts up to 
the day of his wedding ; in which case they could go to the 
Campagna : 

/ wonder do you feel to-day 

As I have felt since, hand in hand, 

We sat down on the grass, to stray 
In spirit better through the land, 

This morn of Rome and May ? 



284 Guy and Pauline 

They would drive out from the city along the Appian 
Way and turn aside to sit among the ghostliness of innumer- 
able grasses in those primal fields, the air of which would be 
full of the feathery seeds and the dry scents of that onrush- 
ing summer. There would be no thought of time and no 
need for words : there would merely be the two of them 
on a morn of Rome and May. And later in the warm after- 
noon they would drive home, coming back to the city's 
heart to eat their dinner within sound of the Roman foun- 
tains. Then all the night-time she would be his, not his 
in frightened gasps as when wintry England was forbidding 
all joy to their youth, but his endlessly, utterly, gloriously. 
They would travel farther south and perhaps come to that 
Parthenopean shore calling to him still now from the few 
days he had spent upon its silver heights and beside its azure 
waters. In his dream Pauline was leaning on his shoulder 
beneath an Aleppo pine, at the cliff's edge, Pauline whose 
alien freshness would bring a thought of England to sigh 
through its boughs, and a cooler world to the aromatic 
drouth. Theirs should be sirenian moons and dawns, and 
life would be this dream's perfect fulfilment. In what 
loggia, firefly-haunted, would he hold her ? The desire 
with which the picture flamed upon his imagination was 
almost intolerable, and here he always brought her back 
to Plashers Mead on a June dusk. Then she could be con- 
jured in this house, summoned in spirit here to this very 
room ; and if they had loved Italy, how they would love 
England, as they walked across their meadows, husband and 
wife. With such visions Guy set on fire each January night 
that floated frorely into his bedroom, until one morning a 
letter arrived from Mr. William Worrall, that made his 
fingers tremble, as he broke the envelope and read the 
news : 



Another Winter 285 

217 COVENT GARDEN, W.C. 
Dear Sir, January 6th. 

I have looked at the poems you were kind, enough to 
send for my consideration, and I shall be happy to hand them 
to a reader for his opinion. The reader's fee is one guinea. 
Should his opinion be favourable, I shall be glad to discuss 

terms with you. 

Tours faithfully, 

William Worrall 

Guy threw the letter down in a rage. He would almost 
have preferred a flat refusal to this request for money to 
enable some jaded hack to read his poems. The proposal 
appeared merely insolent, and he wrote curtly to Mr. 
William Worrall to demand the immediate return of his 
manuscript. But after all, if Worrall did not accept his 
work, who would ? Money was an ulterior consideration 
when the great object was to receive such unanimous 
approval as would justify the apparent waste of time in 
which he had been indulging. The moment his father 
acknowledged the right he had to be confident, he in turn 
would try to show by following his father's advice that he 
was not the wrong-headed idler of his reputation. Perhaps 
he would send the guinea to Worrall. He tore up his first 
letter and wrote another in which a cheque was enclosed. 
Then he began to add up the counterfoils of his cheque 
book, a depressing operation that displayed an imminent 
financial crisis. He had overdrawn .5 last quarter. That 
left 32 los. of the money paid in on December 21. The 
quarter's rent was 4 los. That left 28. Miss Peasey's 
wages were in arrears, and he must pay her 4 IDS. on the 
fifteenth of this month. That would leave 23 los. and he 
must knock off 75. 6d. for Bob's licence. About 3 had gone 
at Christmas and there were the books still to pay. 20 



286 



Guy and Pauline 



was not much for current expenses until next Lady Day. 
However, he decided that he could manage in Wychford, 
if he did not have to pay out money for Oxford debts, the 
creditors of which were pressing him harder each week. 










8. 


d. 


Lam'pard. 


Books. 


39 15 





Harker. 


Furniture. 


17 18 





Faucett. 


Books. 


22 l6 


6 


Williamson. 


Books. 


13 19 





Ambrose. 


Books. 


4 7 





Brough. 


Tobacco. 


9 19 





Clary. 


Clothes. 


44 4 


o 


Miscellaneous. 


Books, Clothes, 








Stationery, Chemist, 








etc., etc. about 


5 





A total of 202 1 8s. 6d. Practically he might say that 
200 would clear everything. Yet was .50 enough to allow 
for those miscellaneous accounts ? Here for instance was 
a bill of .1 1 for boots and another of 14 for hats apparently, 
though how the deuce he could have spent all that on hats 
he did not know. It would be wiser to say that 250 was 
required to free himself from debt. Guy read through the 
tradesmen's letters and detected an universal impatience, 
for they all reminded him that not merely for fifteen months 
had they received nothing on account of large outstanding 
bills, but also they made it clear that behind reiterated 
demands and politeness strained to breaking-point stood 
darkly the law. That brute Ambrose, to whom after all 
he only owed ,4 ys., was the most threatening. In fact 
he would obviously have to pay the ruffian in full. That 
left only .15 135. for current expenses to Lady Day, or 
rather .14 12s., for by the way WorralPs guinea had been 
left out of the reckoning. 



Another Winter 287 

Guy wondered if he ought to get rid of Miss Peasey and 
manage for himself in future. Yet the housekeeper probably 
earned her wages by what she saved him, and if he relied on 
a woman who ' came in ' every morning, that meant feeding 
a family. It would be better to sell a few books. He might 
raise .50 that way. Ten pounds to both Lampard and 
Clary, and six fivers among the rest would postpone any 
violent pressure for a while. Guy at once began to choose 
the books with which he could most easily part. It was 
difficult to put aside as many as might be expected to raise 
.50, for his collection did not contain rarities, and it would 
be a sheer quantity of volumes, the extraction of which 
would horribly deplete his shelves, upon which he must 
rely. 

The January rain dripped monotonously on the window- 
sills, while Guy dragged book after book from the shelves 
that for only fifteen months had known their company. 
They were a melancholy sight, when he had stacked on the 
floor as many books as he could bear to lose, each shelf look- 
ing as disreputable as a row of teeth after a fight. A hun- 
dred volumes were gone, scarcely a dozen of which had he 
sacrificed without a pang. But a hundred volumes in order 
to raise .50 must sell at an average of ten shillings apiece, 
and in the light of such a test of value he regarded dismay- 
fully the victims. Precious though they were to him, he 
could not fairly estimate the price they would fetch at 
more than five shillings each. That meant the loss of at 
least a hundred more books. Guy felt sick at the prospect 
and looked miserably along the rows for the farther tribute 
of martyrs they must be forced to yield. With intense 
difficulty he gathered together another fifty, and then with 
a final effort came again for still another fifty. Here was 
the first edition of Swinburne's Essays and Studies. That 
must go, for it might count as ten shillings and therefore 
save a weaker brother. Rossetti's Poems in this edition of 



288 Guy and Pauline 






1871 must go, in order to save the complete works, for he 
could copy out the sonnet which was not reprinted in the 
later edition. Here was Payne's translation of Villon which 
could certainly go, for it would fetch at least fifteen shillings, 
and he still possessed that tattered little French edition at 
two francs. The collected Verlaine might as well go, and 
the Mallarme with the Rops frontispiece : the six volumes 
would save others better loved. Besides, he was sick of 
French poetry, wretched stuff most of it. Yet, here was 
Heredia and the Pleiad and de Vigny, all of whom were 
beloved exceptions. He must preserve too the Italians, 
(what a solace Leopardi had been), though here were a 
couple of Infernos, one of which could surely be sacrificed. 
He opened the first : 

Amor, che a nullo amato amar per dona, 

Mi prese del costui placer si forte, 
Che, come vedi, ancor non ntabbandona. 

The words were stained with the blue anemone to which 
he had likened Pauline's eyes that first day of their love's 
declaration. He opened the other : 

Ma solo un punto fu qitel che ci vinse, 

Quando leggemmo il dlslato riso 
Esser baclato da cotanto amante, 

Questi, che mat da me nonfia diviso, 
La bocca ml bacio tutto tremante : 

And in this volume the words were stained with a ragged 
robin which unnoticed had come back to Plashers Mead in 
his pocket that May eve and which when it fell out later 
he had pressed between those burning pages. It was doubt- 
less the worst kind of sentiment, but the two books must go 
back upon theft: shelves, and never must they be lost, even 
if everything but Shakespeare went. 

Guy put his hand to his forehead and found that it was 



Another Winter 289 

actually wet with the agony of what on this January after- 
noon he had been compelling himself to achieve. Each 
book before it was condemned he stroked fondly and smelt 
like incense the fragrant mustiness of the pages, since nearly 
every volume still commemorated either the pleasure of 
the moment when he had bought it or some occasion of 
reading equally good to recall. Then he covered the pile 
with a shroud of tattered stuff and wrote a letter offering 
them to the only bookseller in Oxford with whom he had 
never dealt. Two days later an assistant came over to in- 
spect the booty. 

" Well ? " said Guy painfully, when the assistant put 
away his note-book and shot his cuffs forward. 

" Well, Mr. Hazlewood, we can offer you 35 for that 
little lot." 

Guy stammered a repetition of the disappointing sum. 

" That's right, sir. And we don't really want them." 

" But surely 50 . . ." 

The assistant smiled in a superior way. 

" We must try and make a little profit," he murmured. 

" Oh, God, you'll do that. Why, I must have paid very 
nearly a hundred for them, and they were practically all 
second hand when I bought them." 

The assistant shrugged his shoulders. 

" I'm sorry, sir, but in offering you .35, I'm offering too 
much as it is. We don't really want them, you see. They're 
not really any good to us." 

" You're simply being damned charitable in fact," said 
Guy. " All right. Give me a cheque and take them away 
when you like . . . the sooner the better." 

He could have kicked that pile of books he had with such 
hardship chosen ; already they seemed to belong to this 
smart young assistant with the satin tie ; and he began to 
hate this agglomeration which had cost him such agony 
and in the end had swindled him out of 15. The assistant 




290 Guy and Pauline 

sat down and wrote a cheque for Guy, took his receipt and 
bowed himself out, saying that he would send for the books 
in the course of the week. 

Through the rain Guy went for consolation to Pauline. 
He told her of his sacrifice and she with all she could give 
of exquisite compassion listened to his tale. 

" But, Guy, my darling, why don't you borrow the money 
from Father ? I am sure he'd be delighted to lend it to 
you." 

Guy shook his head. 

" It's impossible. My debts must be paid by myself. I 
wouldn't even borrow from Michael Fane. Dearest, don't 
look so sad. I would sell my soul for you. Kiss me. Kiss 
me. I care for nothing but your kisses. You must promise 
not to say a word of this to any one. Besides, it's no sacri- 
fice to do anything that brings our marriage nearer by an 
inch. These debts are weighing me down. They stifle me. 
I am miserable too about the poems. I haven't told you 
yet. It's really a joke in one way. Yes, it's really funny. 
Worrall wrote to ask for a guinea before he read them. 
Now, don't you think there is something very particularly 
humorous in being charged a guinea by a reader ? However, 
don't worry about that." 

" How could he be so stupid ? " she cried. " I hope you 
took them away from him." 

" Oh, no. I sent the guinea. They must be published. 
Pauline, I must have done something soon or I shall go mad ! 
Surely you see the funny side of his offer ? I think the 
notion of my expecting to get five shillings apiece out of a 
lot of readers, and my only reader's getting a guinea out of 
me is funny. I think it's quite humorous." 

" Nothing is funny to me that hurts you," Pauline 
murmured. " And I'm heartbroken about the books." 
" Oh, when I'm rich I can buy plenty." 
" But not the same books." 



Another Winter 291 

" That's mere sentiment," he laughed. " And the only 
sentiment I allow myself is in connection with things that 
you have sanctified." 

Then he told her about the flowers pressed in the two 
volumes of Dante, both in that same fifth canto. 

" And almost you know," Guy whispered, " I value most 
the ragged robin, because it commemorates the day you 
really began to love me." 

" Ah, no," she protested. " Guy, don't say that. I 
always loved you, but I was shy before. I could not tell you. 
Sometimes, I wish I were shy now. It would make our love 
so much less of a strain." 

" Is it a strain ? " 

" Oh, sometimes," she cried nearly in tears, her light 
brown hair upon his shoulder. " Oh, yes, yes, Guy. I can't 
bear to feel . . . I'm frightened sometimes, and when 
Mother has been cross with me, I've not known what to do. 
Guy, you won't ever ask me to come out again at night ? " 

" Not if it worries you afterward." 

*' Oh, yes, it has, it has. Guy, when shall we be married ?" 

" This year. It shall be this year," he vowed. " Let us 
believe that, Pauline. You do believe that ? " 

" Oh, Guy, I adore you so wildly. It must be this year. 
My darling, my darling, this year ... let it be this year." 

Guy doled out very carefully the 35 he had accumulated 
by the sale of his books. Lampard and Clary had to be 
content with fj] apiece. Five more creditors received .4, 
or rather one of them only .3 195., so that the guinea left 
over could be put back into the current account for poetic 
justice. There was for the present nothing more to do but 
await the verdict of Worrall's reader, and in a fortnight 
Guy heard from the publisher to say this had been favour- 
able enough to make Mr. Worrall wish to see him in order 
to discuss the matter of publication. Guy was much 
excited and rushed across to the Rectory in a festivity of 




292 Guy and Pauline 

hopefulness. He had wired to say he would be in LondoD 
next day, and all that evening the name of Worrall was 
lauded until round his unknown personality shone the 
aureole of a wise and benevolent saint. There seemed no 
limit to what so discerning a publisher might not do for 
Guy, and he and Pauline became to themselves and to her 
family the hero and heroine of such an adventure as never 
had been. In the course of the evening Guy had an oppor- 
tunity of talking to Margaret, and for the first time for a 
long while he availed himself of it. 

" Are you really going to talk to me then ? " she asked in 
mock surprize. 

" Margaret, I've been rather objectionable lately," said 
Guy, remembering with an access of penitence that it must 
be almost exactly a year ago that he and Margaret in that 
snowy weather had first talked about his love for Pauline. 

" Well, I have thought that you were forgetting me," 
said Margaret. " I shall be sad if we are never going to be 
friends again." 

" Oh, Margaret, we are friends now. I've been worried, 
and I thought that you had been rather unkind to Pauline." 

" I haven't really." 

" Of course not. It was absolutely my fault," Guy 
admitted. " Now that there seems a chance of our being 
married in less than ten years, I'm going to give up this 
continual exasperation in which I live nowadays. It's 
curious that my first impression of you all should have been 
as of a Mozart symphony, so tranquil and gay and self- 
contained and perfectly made did the Rectory seem. How 
clumsily I have plunged into that life," he sighed. " Really, 
Margaret, I feel sometimes like a wild beast that's escaped 
from a menagerie and got into a concert of chamber-music. 
Look here, you shall never have to grumble at me again. 
Now tell me, just to show that you've forgiven my detest- 
able irruption . . . when Richard comes back . . ." 



Another Winter 293 

Margaret gave him her hand for a moment, and looked 
down. 

" And you're happy ? " he asked eagerly. 

" I'm sure I shall be." 

" Oh, you will be, you will be." 

Pauline asked him afterward what he had said to Margaret 
that could have made her so particularly sweet, and when 
Guy whispered his discovery, Pauline declared that the one 
thing necessary to make this evening perfect had been just 
that knowledge. 

" Guy, how clever of you to make her tell you what she 
will never tell us. You don't know how much it has worried 
me to feel that you were always angry with Margaret. How 
I've exaggerated everything ! And what friends you really 
are, you dears ! " 

" I've never been angry with her except on your 
account." 

" But you won't ever be again, because I'm so foolish. 
I'm really a sort of young Miss Verney." 

They laughed at this idea of Pauline's, and soon it was 
time for Guy to go. He thought luxuriously as he walked 
up the drive how large a measure of good news he would 
bring back with him from London. 

Guy was surprized to be kept waiting when he enquired 
for Mr. Worrall at three o'clock on the following afternoon. 
All the way up in the train he had thought so much about 
him and so kindlily that it seemed he must the very moment 
he entered the dusty Georgian antechamber shake his 
publisher warmly by the hand. He had pictured him really 
as looking out for his coming, almost as vividly indeed in his 
prefiguration of the scene as to behold Mr. Worrall's face 
pressed tight against a pane and thence disappearing to 
greet him from the step. 

It was a shock to be invited to wait, and he repeated his 
name to the indifferent clerk a little insistently. 



294 Guy and Pauhne 

" Mr. Worrall will see you in a minute," the clerk 
repeated. 

Guy looked at the few objects of interest in the outer 
office, at the original drawings of wrappers and frontis- 
pieces, at the signed photograph of a moderately distin- 
guished poet of the 'nineties, at a depressing accumulation 
of still unsold volumes. The window was grimy, and the 
raindrops seemed from inside to smear it as tears smudge the 
face of a dirty child. The clerk pored over a ledger, and 
from the grey afternoon the cries of the porters in Co vent 
Garden came drearily in. At last a bell sounded, and the 
clerk invited him ' to step this way,' lifting the counter and 
pointing up a narrow staircase beyond a glass door. Guy 
went up and at last entered Mr. Worrall's private office. 

The publisher was a short fat man with a bald and 
curiously conical head, reminding Guy very much of a 
dentist in his manner. The poet sat down and immediately 
caught in his first survey Mr. William Worrall's caricature 
by Max Beerbohm. As a result of this observation Guy 
throughout the interview could only perceive Mr. Worrall 
as the caricaturist had perceived him, and like a shape in 
a dream his head all the time grew more and more conical, 
until it seemed as if it would soon bore a hole in the festooned 
ceiling. 

" Well, Mr. Hazlewood," said the publisher referring as 
he spoke to Guy's card with what Guy thought was a rather 
unnecessary implication of oblivion. " Well, Mr. Hazle- 
wood, my reader reports very favourably on your poems, 
and there seems no reason why I should not publish them." 

Guy bowed. 

" No reason at all," Mr. Worrall continued. Then 
making a gothic arch with his fingers and looking up at the 
ceiling, he added : 

' Though, of course, there will be a risk. However, my 
reader's opinion was certainly favourable." 






Another Winter 295 

And so it ought to be, thought Guy, for a guinea. 
" And I don't think," Mr. Worrall went on, " that in 
the circumstances we need be very much afraid. Have you 
any ideas about the price at which your sheaf, your little 
harvest is to be offered to the public ? " 

" Oh, I should leave that to you," said Guy hastily. 
" Precisely," said the publisher. " Yes, I think perhaps 
we might say five shillings or ... of course it might be 
done in paper in the Covent Garden Series of Modern 
English Poets. Yes, the reader speaks most highly of your 
work. You know the Covent Garden .series of modern 
poets ? In paper at half-a-crown net ? " 

" I should be very proud to appear in such a series," said 
Guy pleasantly. The series as a matter of fact was one 
that could do him no discredit. 

" It's a charming idea, isn't it ? " said Mr. Worrall, 
fondling one of the set that lay on his desk. " Every five 
volumes has its own floral emblem. We've done The Rose, 
The Lily, The Violet. Let me see, your poems are mostly 
about London, aren't they ? " 

" No, there isn't one about London," Guy pointed out 
rather sharply. 

" No, precisely, then of course they would not come in 
The London Pride set which still has a vacancy. Perhaps 
The Cowslip ? What does the reader say ? Um, yes, 
pastoral. Precisely ! Well, then why not let us decide that 
your poems shall be Number Three in The Cowslip set. 
Capital ! I think you'd be wise to choose the Covent 
Garden series in paper. The cost of publication is really 
less in that series, and I have always chosen my poets so 
carefully that I can be sure the Press will pay attention to 
er neophytes. That is a great advantage for a young 
writer, as you no doubt realize without my telling you ? " 
" The cost ? " echoed Guy in a puzzled voice. 
" It will run you in for about .30 as a guarantee of 



296 Guy and Pauline 

course. The terms I suggest are simply a written agreement 
that you will guarantee 30 toward the cost. Your royalty 
to be ten per cent on the first thousand, twelve and a half on 
the next thousand and fifteen over two thousand. We might 
fairly say that in the event of selling a thousand you would 
have nothing to pay, but of course if you only sell twenty or 
thirty, you will have to er pay for your piping." 

" And when should I have to produce this 30 ? " Guy 
asked. 

" Well, I might ask for a cheque to be placed to my 
account on the day of publication ; and then of course I 
should send in a written statement twice a year with the 
usual three months' margin for settlement." 

" So that supposing my book came out in March ? " Guy 
enquired. 

" By the following November I should hope to have the 
pleasure of sending you back your 30 and a cheque on 
account of royalties," said the publisher briskly. 

" They don't seem very good terms somehow," said Guy. 
Mr. Worrall shrugged his shoulders, and his conical head 
grew more conical. 

" You forget the advantage of being in the Covent 
Garden series of modern poets. However, don't, pray do 
not, entrust your manuscript to my pilotage unless you are 
perfectly satisfied. I have a good many poems to consider, 
you know." 

" May I write within a week or so and give you my 
decision ? " Guy asked. 
" Naturally." 
" Well, good-bye." 

" Good-bye, Mr. Hazlewood. Clever fellow, isn't he ? " 
Guy had given a farewell glance at Max Beerbohm's 
caricature. 

" Very clever," the poet fervently agreed. 

Guy left Mr. William Worrall's office and wandered 



Another Jointer 297 

dismally across Covent Garden, wondering where on earth 
he was going to be able to raise ^30. He had intended to 
spend the night in town and look up some old friends, but 
foreseeing now the inevitable question * What . are you 
doing ? ' he felt he had not the heart to explain that at 
present he was debating the possibility of spending .30 
in order to produce a book of poems. All the people whom 
he would have been glad to see had held such high hopes of 
him at Oxford, had prophesied for his career such pros- 
perity ; and now when after fifteen months he emerged 
from his retirement it was but to pay a man to include him 
in the Covent Garden series of modern poets. The rain 
came down faster, and a creeping fog made more inhospit- 
able the dusk of London. He thought of a quick train 
somewhere about five o'clock, and in a sudden longing to be 
back in the country and to sleep, however dark and frore the 
January night that stretched between them, nearer to 
Pauline than here in this city of drizzled fog, he took a 
cab to Paddington. 

During the railway journey Guy contemplated various 
plans to raise the money he wanted. He knew that his 
father at the cost of a long letter would probably have given 
him the sum : but supposing a triumph lay before him, 
all the sweets of it would have been robbed by paternal help. 
Moreover if the book were paid for thus, there would be 
a consequent suspicion of all favourable criticism : it would 
never seem a genuine book to his father, and the reviews 
would give him the impression of being the work of well- 
disposed amateurs or of personal friends. There was the 
alternative of borrowing the money from Michael Fane ; 
and then as the train went clanging through the night Guy 
made up his mind to be under an obligation to nobody and 
to sacrifice all the rest of his books if necessary that this new 
book might be born. 

When he was back at Plashers Mead, his resolution did not 



298 Guy and Pauline 






weaken : coldly and unsentim en tally he began to eviscerate 
the already mutilated library. At the end of his task he had 
stacked upon the floor five hundred volumes to be offered 
as a bargain to the bookseller who had bought the others. 
All that was left indeed were the cheapest and most ordinary 
editions of poets, one or two volumes of the greatest of all 
like Rabelais and Cervantes, and the eternally read and most 
companionable like Boswell and Gilbert White and Sir 
Thomas Browne. In the determination that had seized him 
he rejoiced in his bare shelves, so much exalted by the glories 
of abnegation that he began to despise himself in his former 
attitude as a trifler among books and to say to himself, as he 
looked at the volumes which had survived this heartless 
clearance, that now he was set on the great fairway of 
literature without any temptation to diverge up the 
narrow streams of personal taste. The bookseller's assistant 
was not at all eager for the preferred bargain, and in the end 
Guy could only manage to obtain the 30 and not, as he 
had hoped, another 10 towards his debts. Nevertheless he 
locked the cheque up in his desk with the satisfaction of a 
man who for the first time in his life earns money, and later 
on went across to tell Pauline the result of the visit to 
London. 

There was a smell of frost in the air that afternoon, and 
the sharpness of the weather consorted well with Guy's 
mood, taking away the heavy sense of disappointment and 
giving him a sparkling hopefulness. He and Pauline went 
for a walk on Wychford down, and in the wintry cheer he 
would not allow her to be cast down at the loss of his books 
or to resent Worrall's reception of the poems. 

" Everything is all right," he assured her. " The more we 
have to deny ourselves now, the greater will be my success 
when it comes. The law of compensation never fails. You 
and I are Davidsbiindler marching against the Philistines. 
So be brave, my Pauline." 



Another Jointer 299 

" I will try to be brave," she promised. " But it's harder 
for me because I'm doing nothing." 

" Oh, nothing," said Guy. " Nothing except endow me 
with passion and ambition, with consolation . . . oh, 
nothing, you foolish one." 

" Am I really all that to you ? " 

" Forward," he shouted, hurling his stick in front of him 
and dragging Pauline at the heels of Bob across turf that was 
already beginning to crackle in the frost. Pauline could not 
resist his confidence, and when at last they had to turn 
round and leave a smoky orange sunset, they came home 
glowing to the Rectory, both in the highest spirits. Guy 
wrote to the publisher that night and announced his 
intention of accepting the " offer," a word which he could 
not resist framing with inverted commas in case the 
sarcastic shaft might pierce Mr. Worrall's hard and conical 
head. 

Sitting back in his chair and thinking over his poems, all 
sorts of verbal improvements suggested themselves to Guy ; 
and he added a note asking for the manuscript to be sent 
back for a few corrections. He looked at his work with new 
eyes when it arrived, and bent with all the enthusiasm 
that fruition gave his pen upon reviewing each line for the 
hundredth time. He had enjoyed few things so well in his 
life as going to bed tired with the intense consideration of 
a rhyme and falling asleep in the ambition to reconsider it 
early next morning. 

About ten days had passed since Guy sold the second lot 
of books, and the poems were now as good as he could make 
them until print should reveal numbers of fresh faults. He 
hoped that Worrall would hurry on with the printing in 
order to allow him plenty of time for an even more severe 
scrutiny ; and he wrote to suggest April as the month of 
publication, so anxious was he to have one specially bound 
copy to offer Pauline on her birthday. 



300 Guy and Pauline 

On the very morning when the manuscript had been 
wrapped up and was ready to be sent off a disturbing letter 
arrived from Lampard, his favourite Oxford bookseller, to 
say that having made a purchase of books two or three days 
ago he had been surprized to find among them a large 
number of volumes with Mr. Hazlewood's name inscribed 
on the fly-leaves, for which Mr. Hazlewood had not ye 
paid him. He ventured to think it was only by an over- 
sight that Mr. Hazlewood had not paid his long outstanding 
account before disposing of the books and in short he was 
anxious to know what Mr. Hazlewood intended to do about 
it. His bill, .32 155., was enclosed. Guy wrote back to 
say that it was indeed a most unaccountable oversight on his 
part, but that he hoped in order to mark his sympathy with 
Mr. Lampard's point of view to send him another cheque 
very shortly, reminding the bookseller at the same time that 
he had scarcely three weeks ago sent him fj on account. 
Mr. Lampard in his reply observed very plainly that Guy's 
letter was no reply at all and threatened politely to make 
matters rather unpleasant if the bill were not paid in full 
instantly. Guy tried once more a letter full of bland 
promises, and received in response a letter from Mr. 
Lampard's solicitor. The 30 intended for Mr. Worrall 
had to be sacrificed, and even 2 155. had to be taken from 
his current account. Savagely he tore the paper from the 
manuscript, wrapped it up again and despatched it to 
another publisher. The bad luck of the Lampard business 
made him only the more resolute not to invoke aid from his 
father or anyone else. He was a prey to a perverse determina- 
tion to do everything himself ; but it was gloomy news that 
he had to tell Pauline that afternoon, and she broke down 
and cried in her disappointment. 






February 

PAULINE had been looking forward to the entrance 
of February with joyful remembrance of what last 
February had brought her ; and that the anniversary 
of Guy's declaration of his love should be heralded by such a 
discomfiture of their plans was a shock. The renewal of 
his uncertainty about the fate of the poems destroyed the 
progress of a love that seemed to have come back to its old 
calm course, and brought back with all the added sharpness 
of absence the heartache and the apprehension. Pauline 
sat in the nursery window-seat and pondered dolefully the 
obstacles to happiness from which her mind, however hard 
it tried, could not escape. Most insistently of these ob- 
stacles Guy's debts haunted her, harassing and material 
responsibilities that in great uncouth battalions swept end- 
lessly past. Even in the middle of the night she would wake 
gasping in an effort to escape from being stifled by their 
vastness pressing down upon her brain. The small presents 
Guy had given her burned through the darkness to reproach 
her : even the two rings goaded her for the extravagance 
they represented. It was useless for Guy to explain that 
his debts were a trifle, because the statement of a sum so 
large as 200 appalled her as much as if he had said 2000. 
She longed for a confidante whose sympathy she could 
exact for the incubus that possessed her lover ; and fancy- 
ing a disloyalty to him if she discussed his money affairs 
with her family, she could think of no one but Miss Verney 
to whom the burdensome secret might be entrusted. 

" William had the same difficulty," sighed the old maid. 
" Really it seems as if money is the root of all evil. 200, 

301 



302 Guy and Pauline 






you say ? Oh, dear, how uncomfortable he must feel, poor 
young man." 

" If only I could make some money, dear Miss Verney. 
But how could I ? " 

" I used to ask myself that very question," said the old 
maid. " I used to ask myself just that very identical ques- 
tion. But there was never any satisfactory answer." 

" It seems so dreadful that he should have sold nearly all 
his books and still have debts," moaned Pauline. " It seems 
so cruel. Ought I to give him up ? " 

" Give him up," repeated Miss Verney, her cheeks 
becoming dead white at the question. " Oh, my dear, I 
don't think it could be right for you to give him up on 
account of debts. Patience seems to me the only remedy 
for your troubles, patience and constancy." 

" No, you've misunderstood me," cried Pauline. " I'm 
afraid that I hamper him, that I spoil his work. If I gave 
him up, he would go away from Wychford and be free. 
Besides perhaps then his father would pay his debts. Miss 
Verney, Mr. Hazlewood didn't like me, and I think Guy 
has quarrelled with him over me. Oh, I'm the most miser- 
able girl in England, and such a little time ago I was the 
happiest." 

" Money," said Miss Verney slowly and seeming to ad- 
dress her cats rather than Pauline. " The root of all evil ! 
Yes, yes, it is. It's the root of all evil." 

Pauline was a little heartened by Miss Verney's readiness 
to consider so seriously the monster that oppressed her 
thoughts ; yet it was disquieting to regard the old maid, 
whose life had been ruined by money and who all alone with 
cats stayed here in this small house at the top of Wychford 
town, the very image of unhappy love. It was disquieting 
to hear her reflections on the calamity of gold uttered like 
this to cats, and in a sudden dread of the future Pauline 
beheld herself talking in the same way a long time hence. 



Another Winter 303 

She shivered and bade Miss Verney farewell ; and now to 
all the other woes that stood behind her in the shadows was 
added the vision of herself mumbling to cats in February 
dusks of the dim years ahead. 

The idea of herself as the figure of an unhappy tale of 
love grew continuously more definite, and once she spoke 
of her dread to Guy, who was very angry. 

" How can you encourage such morbid notions ? " he 
protested. " You really must cultivate the power to resist 
them. People go mad by indulging their depression as 
you're doing." 

" Perhaps I shall go mad," she whispered. 

" Oh, for God's sake don't talk like that," he ejaculated 
in angry alarm ; and Pauline, realizing how she had frightened 
him was sorry and went to the other extreme of high 
spirits. 

" I thought we had agreed to wait ten years or twenty 
years, if necessary," said Guy. " And now after one year 
you are finding the strain too much. Why won't you have 
confidence in me ? It's unfortunate about Worrall, I 
admit. But there are plenty of other publishers." 

He mentioned names one after another, but to Pauline 
they were the names of stone idols that stared unrespon- 
sively at her lever's poems. 

"If we had only done what Mother wanted and not 
seen so much of each other," she lamented. 

Guy's disposal of her vain fears was without effect, for 
his eloquence could not contend with these deepening 
regrets ; and as fast as he threw down the material obstacles 
to their happiness Pauline saw them maddeningly rise again 
in the path before them, visible shapes of ill omen, gro- 
tesquely irrepressible. Guy used to asseverate that when 
Spring was really come she would lose all these morbid 
fancies, and with his perpetual ascription to wintry gloom 
of all the presentiments of woe that flocked round their 



304 Guy and Pauline 






intercourse, Pauline did begin to fancy that, when the 
trees were green, he and she would rejoice as of old in their 
love. The knowledge that Spring could not linger always 
was the only consoling certainty she now possessed, and from 
the window-seat she greeted with a passionate welcome 
each dusky azure minute that on these lengthening eves 
was robbed from night. The blackbirds sang to her now 
more personally, these sombre-suited heralds who had never 
before seemed to proclaim so audaciously masterful Spring ; 
and when the young moon cowered among the ragged 
clouds of a rainy golden sky and the last bird slipped like a 
shadow into the rhododendrons, such airs and whispers of 
April would steal through the open window. Every day 
too there were flowery tokens of hope and in sheltered 
corners of the garden the primroses came out one by one, 
an imperceptible assemblage like the birth of stars in the 
luminous green West. This grey-eyed virginal month had 
now such memories of the last progress it made through her 
life that Pauline could not help imputing to the season a 
sentimental participation in her life : there was a poignancy 
in the reopening of those blue Greek anemones which Guy, 
a year ago, had likened to her eyes, a poignancy that might 
have been present if the flowers had been consciously 
reminding her of vanished delights. Yet it was unreason- 
able to encourage such an emotion, or did she indeed, 
as sometimes was half whispered to her inmost soul, 
regret the slightest bit everything since that day of the 
anemones ? 

It was one evening toward the end of the month that 
Monica joined her and walked up and down the edge of 
the lawn where in the grass a drift of purple crocuses had 
lately been flaming for her solitary adoration. 

" In a way," said Pauline, " they are my favourite flowers 
of all. I don't think there is any thrill quite like the first 
crocus bud. It seems to me that as far as I can look back, 



Another Winter 305 

oh, Monica, ever so far, that always the moment I've seen 
my crocuses budding winter seems to fly away." 

" I remember your looking for them when you were 
tiny," Monica agreed. " I can see you now kneeling down, 
and the mud on your knees, and your eyes screwed up when 
you told me about your discovery." 

They talked for a while of childish days, each capping 
the other's evocation of those hours that now in retrospect 
appeared like the gay pictures of an old book long ago lost, 
and found again on an idle afternoon. They talked too of 
Margaret and whether she would marry Richard ; and 
presently, without the obvious transition that would have 
made her silent, Pauline found that they were discussing 
Guy and herself. 

" I notice he doesn't come to church now so much as he 
did," said Monica. 

Pauline was startled by an abrupt statement of something 
which among all the other worries she had never defined 
to herself, but which now that Monica revealed its shape 
she knew had occupied a dark corner at the back of her mind 
more threatening than any of the rest. Of course she began 
at once to make excuses for Guy, but her sister, who brought 
to religion the same scrupulous temperament she gave to 
her music, would not admit their validity, 

" Don't you ever ask him why he hasn't been ? " she 
persisted. 

" Oh, of course not. Why, I couldn't, Monica. I should 
never feel . . . oh, no, Monica, it would really be impossible 
for me to talk to Guy about his faith." 

" His faith seems rather to have frozen lately," said 
Monica. 

" He's been upset and disappointed." 

" All the more reason for going to church," Monica argued. 

" Yes, for you, darling, or for me ; but Guy may be 
different." 






306 Guy and Pauline 

" There's no room for moods in one's religious duties. 
The artistic temperament is not provided for." 

That serene and nun-like conviction of tone made Pauline 
feel a little rebellious, and yet in its corroboration of her 
own uneasiness she could not laugh it aside. 

" Well, even if there's no excuse for him and even sup- 
posing it made me dreadfully anxious," she affirmed, " I 
still wouldn't say a word to him." 

" Does he know you go to Confession ? " 

Pauline blushed. Monica was like a Roman Catholic in 
the matter-of-fact way in which she alluded to something 
that for Pauline pierced such sanctities as could scarcely 
even be mentioned by herself to her own soul. 

" Monica, you don't really think that I ought to speak of 
that," she stammered. Not even to her sister could she 
bring herself to utter the sacramental word. 

" I certainly think you should," said Monica. " When 
you and Guy are married it would be terrible if your 
duties were to be the cause of a disagreement. Why, 
he might even persuade you to give up going to Con- 
fession." 

" Darling Monica," said Pauline nervously, " I'd rather 
you didn't talk about this any more. You see, you're so 
much better than I and you've thought so much more 
deeply than I have about religion. I don't think I shall 
ever be able to make my faith so narrow a ... so strict a 
rule as yours is. No, please, Monica, don't let us talk about 
this subject any more." 

" I only mentioned it because I'm afraid that with your 
beautiful nature you will be too merciful to that Guy of 
yours." 

" Oh, and I'd really rather you didn't say my nature 
was beautiful," Pauline protested. " Truthfully, Monica, 
darling, it's a very ugly nature indeed, and I'm afraid it's 
getting uglier every day." 



Another Winter 307 

Her sister's cloistral smile flickered upon the scene like 
the wan February sunlight. 

" I do hope Guy really appreciates you," was what she 
said. 

" See how the sparrows have pulled the crocuses into 
ribbons," Pauline exclaimed. And so that Monica could 
not talk to her any more, she hailed her father, who was 
wandering along toward the house on the other side of the 
lawn. When he sauntered across to them she pointed out 
the destructiveness of the sparrows. 

" Ah, well, my dear," he chuckled, " most florists are 
worse." 

" Perhaps Pm a florist," Monica whispered, " and Guy 
may be only a mischievous sparrow." 

Pauline smiled at Monica and took her arm gratefully 
and affectionately. 

" We shall have all the daffs gone before we know where 
we are," said the Rector. " Maximus is out under the oaks. 
And King Alfred is just going to turn down his buds." 

" Dear King Alfred," said Pauline. " How glad I shall 
be to say good-morning to him again." 

Yes, all the daffodils would soon be here and then gone ; 
and beyond this austere afternoon already she could fancy 
a smell of March winds. 

After Monica's question it was no longer possible for 
Pauline when she was alone to avoid facing the problem of 
Guy's attitude toward religion. The repression of her 
anxiety on this point had only increased the force of it 
when it was set free like this to compete with and in fact 
overshadow all other cares. Looking back to her earliest 
thoughts of the world as it would one day affect herself, she 
remembered how, if she had ever imagined someone in love 
with her, she had always created a figure whose faith would 
be an eternal and joyful contemplation. She had never 
invented for herself a marriage with someone merely good- 



308 Guy ana Pauline 

looking or rich, or endowed with any of the romantic attri- 
butes that young girls were supposed to award their ideals, 
as her cousins would say, of men. When Guy entered her 
life, the only gift he brought her for which she was at all 
prepared was the conviction of his faith. This indeed was 
his spiritual and mental reality for her : the rest of him 
was a figment, a dream that might pass suddenly away. 
The visit of his father had given her a more clearly defined 
assurance of his existence on earth, but his faith had been 
the heart of the immortal substance of her love for Guy. 
The endlessness of their union was always present in her 
thoughts, the ultimate consolation of whatever delays they 
might be called upon to endure. Very often, even at the 
beginning of the engagement, Guy had frightened her 
sometimes by his indifference to immortality, sometimes by 
his harping upon the swift flight of youth, sometimes by his 
manifest indulgence of her creed. All these doubts, however, 
of his sympathy were allayed by his apparently deliberate 
pleasure in worship. She was angry with herself then for 
her mistrust of him, and her contentment had been perfect 
when in church he knelt beside her on that birthday of his, 
that day of their avowed betrothal, and on all those other 
occasions when he had given an outward proof of his faith. 
Now as she looked back on his absence from church lately, 
she could not but wonder whether all his attendance had 
not been a kind of fair-weather spoiling of her that could 
not withstand the least stress of worldly circumstance. 
She began to torment herself over every light remark that 
might have been a sneer and to look forward dreadfully to 
Guy's abrupt declaration of a profound disbelief in every- 
thing she held most sacred. His cleverness, as he hated her 
to call it, intervened and seemed to wrench them asunder ; 
and the more she pondered his behaviour, the more she 
became convinced that all the time Guy's religion had 
merely been Guy's kindness. This discovery was not to 



Another Winter 309 

make her love him less ; but it did throw upon her the 
responsibility of the knowledge that he had nothing within 
himself to fortify his soul, should mishap destroy his worldly 
confidence. 

For a. long time Pauline lay awake in the darkness, fretting 
herself on account of Guy's resourcelessness of spirit, and 
to her imagination concentrated on this regard of him 
every hour seemed to make his solitude more terrible. Of 
her own religion she did not think, and Monica's anxiety 
about their agreement after marriage was without the least 
hint of danger. The possibility of anyone's, even Guy's 
influencing her own faith was inconceivable ; nor was she 
at all occupied with her own disappointment at not finding 
Guy constant to her belief in him. Pauline's one grief was 
for him, that now when things were going badly he should 
be without spiritual hope. Suddenly her warm bed seemed 
to her wrong and luxurious in comparison with the chill 
darkness she imagined about Guy's soul at this moment. 
Impulsively she threw back the sheets and knelt down beside 
the bed to pray for his peace. So vividly was she conscious 
of the need for prayer that she was carried to undreamed of 
heights of supplication, to strange summits whereon it 
seemed that if she could not pray she would never know how 
to pray again. Ordinarily her devotions had been but a 
beautiful and simple end or beginning of the day : they 
were associated with the early warmth of the sunlight or 
with the gentle flutters of roosting birds : they were the 
comforting and tangible pledges of a childhood not yet 
utterly departed. Now the fires and ecstasies of a more 
searching faith had seized Pauline. No longer did there 
pass before her eyes a procession of gay-habited saints, glad 
celestial creatures that smiled down upon her from a para- 
dise not much farther away than the Rectory garden : no 
longer did she find herself surrounded by the well-loved 
figures who when death took her to them would hold out 



310 Guy and Pauline 






their arms in actual welcome and whom she would recog- 
nize one by one. To-night these visions were uncapturable, 
and beyond the darkness they had forsaken stretched a 
terrifying void and beyond the void was nothing but light 
that seemed to have the power of thinking : * I am Truth ! ' 
A speck in that void she saw Guy spinning away from her, 
and it seemed that unless she prayed he would be spun 
irremediably out of her consciousness. It seemed that the 
fierceness of her prayer was like the fierceness of a flame 
that was granted the power to sustain him, for when some- 
times the tongues of fire languished Guy would sink so far 
that only by summoning fresh force from the light beyond 
could she bring him back. Gradually, however, her power 
was waning and with whatever desperate force she prayed 
he could never be brought back to the point from which 
he had last slipped. He was spinning away into a horror 
of blackness. . . . 

" O Holy Ghost, save him," she cried. Then Pauline 
fainted, and wondered to find herself lying upon the cold 
floor when she woke as from a dream. Yet it was not like 
the gasping rescue of oneself from a nightmare, for she lay 
awake a long while afterward in peace, and she slept as if 
upon a victory and very early in the morning went to church. 

The days when the thrushes sang mattins were come and 
all the way she heard freshets of holy song pouring down 
through the air. She and her family always knelt apart 
from one another, and this morning Pauline chose a place 
hidden from the others, a place where she could lean her 
cheek against a pillar and be soothed by the cool touch of 
the stone like the assurance of unfathomable and maternal 
love. Now to her calm spirit returned the vision of those 
happy heavenly creatures, the bright-suited and intimate 
companions of her childhood. They welcomed her this 
morning and thronged about her downcast eyes with many 
angels too that like Tobit's angel walked by her side. Only 



Another Winter 311 

her father's mellow voice spoke from the chancel of earth, 
and even he in his violet chasuble took his place among the 
saints, and when she went up to the altar Heaven was once 
again very near to her. 

In the morning coolness it was almost impossible to 
believe that last night she had fainted, and she began to 
believe the whole experience had been a dream's agony. 
However, whether it were or not, she had made up her mind 
to ask Guy a direct question this afternoon. If as she 
feared, he was feeling hostile to religion she would accept 
the warning of the night and give all her determination 
to prayer for his faith to return. 

When they were together, it was for a long time impos- 
sible to begin the subject, and it was not until Guy asked 
what was making her so abstracted that Pauline could ask 
why he never came to church any more. 

In the pause before he answered, she suffered anew the 
torment of that struggle in the darkness. 

" Does it worry you when I don't come ? " he asked. 

" Well, yes, it does rather." 

" Then of course I will come," said Guy at once. 

Now this was exactly the reason for which least of all she 
wanted him to come, and a trace of her mortification may 
have been visible, because he asked immediately if that did 
not please her. 

" Guy, don't you want to come to church ? You used 
to come happily, didn't you ? " 

" I think I came chiefly to be near you," he said. 

" That does make me so unhappy. I'd almost rather you 
came out of politeness to Father." 

" Well, that was another reason," Guy admitted. 

" And you never came because you wanted to ? " she 
asked miserably. 

" Of course I wanted to." 

" But because you believed ? " 



312 Guy and Pauline 

" In what ? " 

" Oh, Guy, don't be so cruel. Don't you believe in any- 
thing ? " 

" I believe in you," he said. " Pauline, I believe in you 
so passionately that when I am with you I believe in what 
you believe." 

" Then you h&ven't any faith ? " 

" I want to have it," said Guy. " If God won't con- 
descend to give it to me . . ." he broke off with a shrug. 

" But religion is either true, or it isn't true, and if it 
isn't true, why do you encourage me in lies ? " she demanded 
with desperate entreaty. 

" I'm ready to believe," he said. 

" How can you expect to have faith if your reason for it 
is merely to sit next me in church ? " she asked bitterly. 

" Now, I think it's you who are being cruel," said Guy. 

" I don't care. I don't care if I am cruel. You'll break 
my heart." 

" Good God," Guy exclaimed. " Haven't I enough to 
torment me without religion appearing upon the scene ? 
If you want me to hate it ... no, Pauline, I'm sorry . . . 
you mustn't think that I don't long to have your faith. If 
I only could ... oh, Pauline, Pauline." 

She yielded to his consolation, and when he told her of 
the poems sent back almost by return of post from the 
second publisher she must open wide her compassionate 
arms. Nevertheless he had somehow maltreated their love ; 
and Pauline was aware of a wild effort to prepare for sorrow 
whether near at hand or still far off she did not know, but 
she seemed to hear it like a wind rising at sunset. 






ANOTHER SPRING 



March 

WHEN the poems were returned by three pub- 
lishers within the first fortnight of March, 
Guy was inclined to surrender his vocation 
and to think about such regular work as would banish the 
reproach he began to fancy was now perceptible at the back 
of everybody's eyes. The weather was abominably cold, 
and even Flashers Mead itself was no longer the embodiment 
of the old enthusiasm. Already in order to pay current 
expenses fye was drawing upon the next quarter, and the 
combination of tradesmen's books with icy draughts curling 
through the house produced an atmosphere of perpetual 
exasperation. It always seemed to be coldest on Monday 
morning and Miss Peasey would, breathe over his shoulder 
while he was adding up the bills. 

" We apparently live on butter," he grumbled. 

" Oh, no, it was really lamb you had yesterday," the 
housekeeper maintained irrelevantly. 

" I said we apparently live on butter," Guy shouted. 

Then of course Miss Peasey would poke her veiny nose 
right down into the book, while the draught blew her hair 
about and unpleasantly tickled his cheek. 

" It's the best butter," she said sorrowfully at last. 

" But my watch is quite all right." 

" I beg your pardon ? " 

" I made an allusion to Alice in Wonderland," he 
shouted. 

Miss Peasey retired from the room in dudgeon, and Guy 
wasted ten minutes in examining various theories on what his 

3*5 



316 Guy and Pauline 



. 



housekeeper could have thought he meant by his last r< 
mark. Finally he wrote off to a friend of his, an ardent 
young Radical peer with whom he had shared rooms at 
Oxford. 

FLASHERS MEAD, WYCHFORD, OXON. 

March 15. 
Dear Com, 

Why the dickens haven't you written to me jor sue), 
ages ? Pm going to chuck this place. Haven't you got any 
scheme on hand for teaching the democracy to find out the useless- 
ness of your order ? Why not a new critical weekly, with me as 
bondslav e-in- chief ? Or doesn't one of your National Liberals 
want a bright young fellow to dot his i's and 'pick up his h's ? 
For 250 a year I'll serve any of them, write his speeches, 
interview his constituents or even teach his cubs to prey on the 
body politic like Father Lion himself. Seriously though, if 
you hear of anything, do think of me. 

Tours ever 

G.H. 

Comeragh wrote back at once : 

420 BROOK STREET, W. 

March 1 6. 
Dear old Guy, 

If you will bury yourself like a misanthropic badger, 
you can't expect to be written to by every post. Oddly enough 
there has been some talk of starting a new paper ; at least it 
isn't really very odd because the subject is mooted three times 
a day in the advanced political circles round which I revolve. 
However, just at present the scheme is in abeyance. Never 
mind, I'll fetch you out of your earth at the first excuse that 
offers itself. Do you ever go in and see the Balliol people ? 
My young brother's up now, you know. Ask him over to lunch 
some day. He's a shining light of Tory Democracy and is going 



Another Spring 317 

to preserve or I suppose I ought to say conserve the honour of 
our family. When are your poems coming out ? I heard from 
Tom Anstruther the other day. He seems rather hurt that an 
attache at Madrid is not given an opportunity of adjusting or 
upsetting the balance of power in Europe. Til try to get down 
for a week-end, but Pm betraying my order by voting against 
an obscurantist majority whenever I can, and plotting hard 
against the liberties of landowners when Pm not voting. How- 
ever, when the House flies away to search for summer Pll drop 
out of the flock and perch a while on your roof. One thing I will 
promise, which is that when Pm Prime Minister you shall be 
offered the Laurel at 200 a year. 

Yours ever 

Com. 

It was jolly to hear from Comeragh like this, and the 
letter opened for Guy a prospect of something that, when he 
came to think about it, appeared very much like a retreat. 
He realized abruptly that the strain of the last two months 
had been playing upon his nerves to such an extent that the 
notion of leaving Wychford was no longer very distasteful. 
The realization of his potential apostasy came with rather a 
shock, and he felt that he ought somehow to atone to Pauline 
for the disloyalty toward her his attitude seemed to involve. 
He began to go to church again in a desperate endeavour to 
pursue the phantom that she called faith, but this very 
endeavour only made more apparent the vital difference in 
their relations with life. She always had for his attempts to 
capture something worth while for himself in religion a 
kind of questioning anxiety which was faintly irritating ; and 
though he always pushed the problem hastily out of sight, 
the fact that he could now be irritated by her was dolefully 
significant. 

All through this month of maddening East wind Guy felt 
that he stood upon the verge of a catastrophe, and the 



318 Guy and Pauline 






despatch of the poems which at first had done so much 
help matters along was now only another source of vexation. 
Formerly he had always possessed the refuge of work, but 
in this perpetual uncertainty he could not settle down to 
anything fresh, and the expectation every morning of his 
poems being once again rejected was a handicap to the 
whole day. Partly to plunge himself into a reaction and 
partly to avoid x and even to crush their spiritual divergence 
Guy always made love passionately to Pauline during these 
days. He was aware that she was terribly tried by this, but 
the knowledge made him more selfishly passionate. A sort 
of brutality had entered into their relation which Guy hated, 
but to which in these circumstances that made him feverishly 
glad to wound her he allowed more liberty every day. The 
merely physical side of this struggle between them was of 
course accentuated by the gag placed upon discussion. He 
would not give her the chance of saying why she feared his 
kisses, and he took an unfair advantage of the conviction that 
Pauline would never declare a reason until he demanded one. 
He was horribly conscious of abusing her love for him, and 
the more he was aware of that, the more brutal he showed 
himself until sometimes he used to wonder in dismay if at 
the back of his mind the impulse to destroy his love alto- 
gether had not been born. 

Easter was approaching, and Pauline went to Oxford for 
a week to get summer clothes. When she came back, Guy 
found her attitude changed. She was remote, almost 
evasive, and at the back of her tenderest glance was now 
a wistful appeal that perplexed his ardour. 

" I feel you don't want me to kiss you," he said reproach- 
fully. " What has happened ? Why have you come 
back from Oxford so cold ? What has happened to you, 
Pauline ? " 

Her eyes took fire, melted into tenderness, flamed once 
more, and then were quenched in rising tears. 



Another Spring 319 

The voice in which she answered him seemed to come 
from another world. 

" Guy, I am not cold . . . I'm not cold enough. . . ." 

She flung herself away from his gesture of endearment and 
buried her cheeks in the cushion of the faded old settee. A 
wild calm had fallen upon the room as if like the atmosphere 
before a thunderstorm it could register a warning of the 
emotional tempest at hand. The books, the furniture, the 
very pattern of birds and daisies upon the wall stood out 
sharply, almost luridly it seemed : the cuckoo from the 
passage called the hour in notes of .alarm as if a storm- 
cock were sweeping up to cover from dangerous open 
country. 

" What do you mean ? " Guy asked. He knew that he 
was carrying the situation between Pauline and himself 
farther along than he had ever taken it since the night they 
met. Yet nothing could have stopped his course at this 
moment and, if the end should ruin his life, he would persist. 

" What do you mean ? " he repeated. 

" Don't ask me," she sobbed. " It's cruel to ask me." 

" You mean your mother . . ." he began. 

" No, no, it's myself, myself." 

" My dearest, if it's only yourself, you need not be afraid. 
Why, you're so adorable. . . ." 

Pauline seemed to cry out at the wound he had given her, 
and Guy started back afraid for an instant of what he was 
provoking. 

" Don't treat me like a stupid little girl that petting 
can cure. I'm not adorable, I'm bad . . . I'm . . . oh, 
Guy, I am so unhappy ! " 

" What do you mean by * bad ' ?"" he asked. " You talk 
as if we were . . . really, darling, you don't grasp life at 
all." 

" Guy," she said turning to him with fierce earnestness. 
" Don't persuade me I've done nothing. I have. I ought 




320 Guy and Pauline 

not. I've known that all the time. If you don't want me to 
be miserable for the rest of my life, you mustn't persuade 
me. I've been so weak. . . ." 

He was annoyed at the exaggeration in her words and 
perplexed by her violence. 

" Anybody would think, you know," he told her, " tha 
we had behaved terribly." 

"We have. We have." 

Her mouth was drawn with pain : her eyes were wild. 

" But we've not," Guy contradicted, mustering desper- 
ately all the forces of normality to allay Pauline's overstrained 
ideas. " We've not," he repeated. " You don't understand, 
darling Pauline, that when you talk like that you give the 
impression of something that is unimaginable of you. It's 
dreadful really to have to talk about this, but it's better that 
we should discuss it than that you should torture yourself 
needlessly like this." 

" It's not what we've done so much," she said. " It's what 
you've made me think about you." 

Guy laughed rather miserably. 

" That seems a very trifling reason for so much . . . well, 
you know, it's very nearly hysteria." 

" To you, perhaps," she retorted bitterly. " To me it's 
like madness." 

" I can't understand these morbid fancies of yours. What 
have you been doing in Oxford ? Ah, I know," he shouted 
in a rage of sudden divination. " You've been talking to a 
priest. . . . Oh, if I could burn every interfering scoundrel 
who . . ." The scene swept over him, choking the words 
in his throat with indignant impotent jealousy. " You've 
been to Confession. And what good have you got from it, 
but lies, lies ? " 

" I've always been to Confession," Pauline answered 
coldly. 

In a flash Guy visualized her religious life as one long 






Another Spring 321 

creeping toward a gloomy Confessional where lurked a 
smooth-faced priest who poured his poison into her ears. 

" You shall go no more," he vowed. " What right have 
you to drag the holiness of love in the mud of a priest's 
mind ? " 

' ( You don't know how stupidly you're talking," said 
Pauline. " You say I exaggerate. You don't know how 
much you are exaggerating. You don't understand." 

" I thought you wanted me to have faith ! How can I 
have faith when I hear of priests degrading our love. 
What right had you to go to a priest ? What does he know 
of you or me ? What has he suffered ? What does he under- 
stand ? Why do you listen to him and pay no heed to me ? 
What did you say ? " 

Pauline looked at him in silence. 

" What did you say ? " he repeated angrily. He was 
caring for nothing at that moment but to tear from her the 
history of the scene that made a furnace of his brain. " He 
must have tried to put the idea into your head that you've 
been doing wrong. I say you have done nothing wrong. I 
suppose you told him you came out at night with me on the 
river and I suppose he concluded from that . . . oh, 
Pauline, I cannot let you be a prey to the mind of a priest. 
You don't realize what it means to me. You don't realize 
the raging jealousy it rouses." 

" Guy," she moaned, " love is too much for me. I can't 
bear the uncertainty. Your debts . . . the sending back 
of your poems . . . the fear that we shall never be married 
. . . the doubts . . . the thought that I've deceived my 
family . . . the misery I bring to you because I can't 
think everything is right. . . ." 

" I don't want you always to agree with me. I've promised 
never to ask you again to come out with me at night. I'll 
even promise never to kiss you again, until we are married. 
But you must promise me never again to go to Confession." 




322 Guy and Pauline 

" I can't give up what I believe is right," she said. 

" Then I won't give up what I believe is right." 

He strained her to him and kissed her lips so closely that 
they were white instead of red. Then he went from her in 
an impulse to let her if she would break off the engagement. 
If he had stayed he must have blasphemed the religion 
which was soiling with its murk their love. He must have 
hurt her so deeply that he would have compelled her to bid 
him never come back. It was for her now, the responsibility 
of going on, and she should find what religion would do 
for her when she was left alone to battle with the infamous 
suggestions the fiction was giving to her mind. She should 
find that beside his love religion was nothing, that the folly 
would topple down and betray her at this very moment. 
When next he saw her, she would have forgotten her priests 
and their mummery : she would think only of him and live 
only for him. 

" Blow, you damned wind," he shouted to the brilliant 
and tranquil March day. " Blow, blow, can't you ? You've 
blown all these days and now when I want you in my face, 
you lie still." 

But the weather stayed serene, and Guy had to run in 
order to tire the fury in his mind. He did not stop until he 
realized by the scampering of the March hares to right and 
left of his path how very absurd he must appear even to the 
blind heavens. 

" Why," he exclaimed suddenly standing still and address- 
ing a thorn-tree on the green down. " Why, of course, now 
I realize the Reformation ! " 

This sudden apprehension of a tremendous historical fact 
was rather disconcerting in the way it brought home to him 
the uselessness of all the information that he had for years 
absorbed without any real response of recognition. It 
brought home to him how much he would have to discover 
for himself and appalled him with the mockery it made of 



Another Spring 323 

his confidence hitherto. How if all those poems he Had 
written were merely external emotion like his conception 
of religion until this moment ? He really hoped the manu- 
script would come back this evening from whatever pub- 
lisher had last eyed it disdainfully, so that in the light of 
this revelation of his youthfulness he could judge his life's 
achievement afresh. It was indeed frightening that in one 
moment all his comfortable standards could be struck away 
from beneath his feet, for if an outburst of jealousy on 
account of a priest's interference could suddenly re-shape 
his conception of history, what fundamental changes in his 
conception of art might not be waiting for him a little way 
ahead ? 

The spectacle of Pauline's simple creed had hitherto 
pleasantly affected his senses ; and she had taken her place 
with the heroines of romantic poets and painters. It had 
been pleasant to murmur : 

Pray but one prayer for me 'twixt thy dosed lips, 
Think but one thought of me up in the stars : 

and to compare himself with the lover of The Blessed Damo- 
zel had been a luxurious melancholy. Pauline and he had 
worshipped together in chapels of Lyonesse where, if he had 
knelt beside her with rather a tender condescension toward 
her prayers, he had always been moved sincerely by the 
decorative appeal they made to him. He had felt a senti- 
mental awe of her hushed approach to the altar and he 
had derived a kind of sentimental satisfaction from the 
perfection of her attitude, perhaps, even more, he had 
placed upon it a sentimental reliance. Her faith had 
been the decorative adjunct of a great deal of his verse, 
and he flushed hotly to remember lines that now ap- 
peared as damnable insincerities with which he had 
allowed his pen to play. All that piety of hers he had 




324 Guy ana Pauline 

sung so prettily was real and possessed an intrinsic power to 
injure him, so that what he had patronized and encouraged 
could rise up and pit itself deliberately against him. Pauline 
actually believed in her religion, believed in it to the extent 
of dishonouring their love to appease the mumbo- jumbo. 
That something so monstrously inexistent could have any 
such power was barely comprehensible, and yet here he was 
faced with what easily might prove to be a force powerful 
enough to annihilate their love. He remembered how in 
reading of Christina Rossetti's renunciation of a lover who 
did not believe as she believed, he had thought of the inci- 
dent as a poet's exaggeration. And it might well have 
happened. Now indeed he could see why she was so much 
the greatest poetess of them all : her faith had been real. 
Lines from that Sonnet of sonnets came back to him, broken 
lines but full of dread : 

/ love . . . God the most ; 
Would lose not Him but you, must one be lost : 

And if Pauline should speak so to him, if Pauline should 
disown him at the bidding of her phantom gods ? How the 
thought swept into oblivion all his pitiful achievement, all 
his fretful emotions set down in rhyme. Either he must 
convince her that she was affrighted by vain fancies or he 
must bow before this reality of belief and seek humbly the 
truth where she discovered it. Yet if he took that course, it 
held no pledge of faith for him. Shamefacedly and scarcely 
able to bear even the thorn-tree's presence Guy knelt down 
and prayed that he might be given Pauline's single heart. 
The song of the innumerable larks rose into the crystalline, 
but all the prayers tumbled down from that stuffy pavilion 
of sky. The moment that the first emotional aspiration was 
thus defeated Guy was only conscious of his lapse into super- 
stition, and furious with the surrender he went walking over 
the downs in a determination to shake Pauline's faith at 



Another Spring 325 

whatever the cost temporarily to the beautiful appearance 
of their love. 

He wrote that evening in a fine frenzy of declamation 
against God, affirming in his verse the rights of man ; but 
on reading the lines through next morning they seemed like 
the first vapours of adolescence ; and when he turned for 
consolation to Shelley, he found that even a great poet's 
rage on behalf of man against God was often turgid enough. 
It was however a hopeful sign that he could still perceive 
what puddles these aerial fountains of s.ong often left 
behind them, and he was glad to find that not all the value 
of critical experience had been destroyed by the imperative 
need to readjust his values of reality. 

Birdwood brought a note from Pauline just when Guy had 
burnt his effusion of the night before and come to the con- 
clusion that as a polemical and atheistic rhymester he was of 
the very poorest quality. 

The gardener was inclined to be chatty, and when the 
weather and the flowers in season had been discussed at 
length, he observed that Miss Pauline was not looking so 
well as she ought to look. 

" You'll have to speak to her about it, Mr. Hazlenut." 

Birdwood had never learned to give Guy his proper 
name, and there had been many jokes between him and 
Pauline about this and many vows by Guy that one day he 
would address the gardener as Birdseed. How far away 
such foolish little jokes were seeming now. 

" It's been a tiring Spring," said Guy. " The East 
wind . . ." 

" Her cheeks isn't nothing like so rosy as they was," said 
the gardener. "You'll excuse the liberty I'm taking in 
mentioning them, but having known Miss Pauline since 
she couldn't walk . . . why I happen to mention it is that 
there was a certain somebody up in the town who passed 
the remark to me and, I having to give him a piece of my 



326 Guy and Pauline 

mind pretty sharp on account of him talking so free, it sort 
of stuck in my memory and . . . you don't think she's 
middling ? " 

" Oh, no, I think she's quite well," said Guy. 

" Well, as long as you aren't worrited, I don't suppose 
I've got any call to be worrited ; only anyone can't help it a 
bit when they see witches' cheeks on a young lady. She 
certainly does look middling, but maybe, as you say, it is 
this unnatural East wind." 

Birdwood touched his cap and retired, but his words had 
struck at Guy remorsefully while he walked away to a corner 
of the orchard, reading Pauline's letter. The starlings were 
piping a sweet monotony of Spring, and daffodils, that he 
and she had planted last Summer when they came back 
from Ladingford, haunted his path. 

My darling, 

Why haven't you been to see me this morning? Why 
weren't you in the orchard ? I stayed such a long while in the 
churchyard, but you never came. If 1 said anything yesterday 
that hurt your feelings, forgive me. Tou mustrtt think that I 
was angry with you because perhaps I spoke angrily. Darling, 
darling Guy, I adore you so, and nothing else but you matters 
to my happiness. I should not have spoken about religion / 
don't know how we came to argue about it. It was unkind of me 
to be depressed and sad when my dearest was sad. Truly, truly 
I am so anxious about your poems only because I want you to be 
happy. Sometimes I must seem selfish, but you know that be- 
fore anything it is your work I think of. Pm not really a bit 
worried about our being married. I have these fits of depression 
which are really very wrong. Pm not worried about anything 
really, only I had a dream about you last month which frightened 
me. Oh, Guy, come this afternoon and tell me you're not angry. 
I promise you that I won't make you miserable with my stupid 
depression. Guy, if I could only tell you how I love you 



Another Spring 327 

If you only knew how never ; never for an instant do I care for 
anything but your happiness. Tou don't really want me to give 
up believing in anything do you ? It doesn't really make you 
angry, does it ? Come and tell me this afternoon that you've 

forgiven 

Tour 

Pauline. 
I love you. I love you. 

Gently the daffodils swayed in this light breeze of dying 
March, and the grass was already tall enough to sigh forth 
its transitory summer tune. Guy in a flood of penitence 
hastened at once to the Rectory to accuse himself to Pauline, 
and when he saw her watching for him at the nursery window 
he had no regrets that could stab to wound him as deeply as 
he deserved to be wounded. She was very tender and still 
that afternoon, and as he held her in his arms there seemed 
to him nothing more worth while in life than her cherishing. 
For them sitting in that nursery the hours swung lazily to 
and fro in felicity, and all the time there was nobody to 
disturb the reconciliation. They talked only of the future 
and allowed recent despairs and foreboding agitations to 
slink away disgraced. Janet, coming to take away the tea- 
things, beamed at their happiness and through a filigree of 
bare jasmine twigs the slanting sun touched with new life 
the faded wall-paper, opening wider, it seemed, the daisies' 
eyes, mellowing the berries and tinting the birds with 
brighter plumes for their immutable and immemorial 
courtship. 

Plunged deep in such a peace Guy prompted by damnable 
discord asked idly what had been that dream of which Pauline 
had spoken in her letter. She was unwilling for a long while 
to tell him, but he spurred on by mischief itself persuaded 
her in the end and she recounted that experience of waking 
to find herself prone upon the floor of her room. 




328 Guy and Pauline 

" No wonder you're looking pale," he exclaimed. " Now 
you see the result of exciting yourself unnecessarily." 

" But it was so vivid," she protested, " and really the 
light was blinding and it thought so terribly all the 
time." 

" I shall think very terribly that you've been reading some 
spiritualistic rot in a novel," said Guy, " if you talk like that. 
Your religion may be true, but I'm quite sure these conjuring 
tricks of your fancy are a sign of hysteria. And this poor 
speck that was me ? How did you know it was me if it was a 
speck ? Did that think too ? My foolish Pauline, you 
encouraged your morbid ideas when you were awake and 
when you were asleep you paid the penalty." 

She had gone away from him and was standing by the 
window. 

" Guy, if you talk like that, it means you don't really 
love me. It means you have no sympathy, that you're cold 
and cruel and cynical." 

He sighed with elaborate compassion for her state of mind. 

" And what else ? I wonder how you ever managed to 
fall in love with me." 

" Sometimes I wonder too," she said slowly. 

He turned quickly and went out of the room. 

Guy regretted before he was half-way down the passage 
what he had done, but he steeled himself against going 
back by persuading himself that Pauline's hysteria must be 
remorselessly checked. All the way back to Plashers Mead he 
had excuses for his behaviour, and all the way he was wonder- 
ing if he had done right. Supposing that she were to persist 
in this exaggeration of everything, who could say into what 
extravagance of attitude she might not find herself driven ? 
Rage seized him against this malady that was sapping the 
foundations of their love, and all his affection for her was 
obscured in the contemplation of that overwrought Pauline 
who sacrificed herself to baseless doubts and alarms. If he 



Another Spring 329 

once admitted her right to dream ridiculously about him, 
he would be encouraging her upon the road to madness. 
Had she not already fondled the notion of going mad, just 
as she would often fondle the picture of herself as the heroine 
of an unhappy love-affair ? If he were severe now, she would 
surely come to see the absurdity of these religious fears, this 
heart-searching and morbid sensitiveness. It was curious 
that he was able to keep his idea of Pauline herself quite apart 
from Pauline as the subject of nervous depression. He was 
practically ascribing to her a double personality, so distinct 
were the two views of her in his mind. When he got home 
he found the manuscript had been sent back by a seventh 
publisher, and on top of the packet lay a letter from his 
friend Comeragh. 

420 BROOK STREET, W. 

Dear Guy, 

Sir George Gas cony asked me to-day if I knew of someone 
who would suit him as private secretary. He's going out to 
Persia next month. I told him about you. Come up to town 
and meet him. He's dining here on Thursday. Pm certain 
you can have the job. 

Tours ever 

Comeragh. 

At first the letter only presented itself to his imagination 
as an easy way of punishing Pauline's hysteria. It seemed to 
him the very weapon that was wanted to f give her a lesson,' 
and after dinner he went across to the Rectory and an- 
nounced his news in front of everybody, asking everybody 
if they did not think he ought to go and talking enthusiastic- 
ally of oriental adventure until quite late. He sternly 
refused to allow himself a moment alone with Pauline 
in which to talk over the plan ; and, even when they 
were left alone together in the hall he kissed her good-night 
hurriedly and silently and rather guiltily. 






33 Guy and Pauline 

When Guy was back at home and thought about his 
behaviour, he began to wonder if he had committed himself 
to Persia too finally. The prospect, except so far as it would 
affect Pauline, had not really sunk into his mind yet, but now 
as he read the letter over he began to think that he really 
would like to go. It might mean a separation of two years 
but it would reconcile him to his father and it would assure 
his marriage at the end of the time. Persia might easily be 
almost as interesting as it sounded, and how remote from 
debts looked Baghdad. If last year he had been able practic- 
ally to settle to be a schoolmaster, how much more easily 
could this resolution be taken. Dreamily he let his imagina- 
tion play round the notion of Persia, dreamily and rather 
pleasantly it would solve so many difficulties and it held the 
promise of so much active romance. 

Next morning Mrs. Grey sent round to ask if Guy would 
come to lunch early enough to have a talk with her first. 

" Yes . . . charming ... I really wanted us to have a 
little talk together," she said in nervous welcome, as she led 
the way to her own sitting-room that with its red lacquer and 
its screen painted with birds of paradise hid itself away in a 
corner of the house. Ordinarily Guy would have accepted 
it as a sign of the highest favour to be brought to her small 
room, but this morning it seemed to imprison him. 

" Yes . . . charming ... a little talk," said Mrs. Grey ; 
and Guy while he waited for her to begin, watched the 
mandarins that moved in absurd reduplications all about 
her armchair's faded green pattern. 

" Of course it was rather a surprize to us all last night . . , 
yes ... I expect it was a surprize to you. And you really 
think you ought to go ? " 

" I'm getting rather discouraged about poetry," Guy 
confessed. " I'm beginning to think that what I've written 
isn't much good and that if I am ever going to write anything 
worth while, it will be because I've learnt to be less self- 



Another Spring 331 

conscious about it. If I went to Persia with Sir George 
Gascony I should probably be kept fairly busy and if there 
was any poetry left in me after that, well, it might be good 
stuff." 

" But you've not seen yet what people think of what you 
have written ... no ... you see the poems haven't been pub- 
lished yet, which is very vexing . . . and so I thought . . . 
I mean the Rector thought that if there was any difficulty 
he would like to help you to publish them . . . yes . . . 
rather than go away to Persia . . . you know . . . yes . . . 
poor little Pauline was crying nearly all night and I don't 
think you ought to go away suddenly like this ... no ... 
and we couldn't find an atlas anywhere ! " 

" You think I ought not to go ? " said Guy, and he realized 
as he spoke that he was disappointed. 

" I do think that after all these months of hoping for your 
poems to be a success that you ought at least to try them 
first, and then afterwards we can talk about Persia. I'm afraid 
you think I've been too strict about Pauline . . . perhaps 
I have ... yes ... and so I think that now Spring is 
here you can go out every day . . . yes . . . charming . . . 
now that the weather is getting better. . . ." 

But now every day, thought Guy bitterly, there would 
be recriminations between them. 

" Of course if you think I ought not to go, I won't," he 
said. " I'll write to Comeragh and refuse." 

" I'm sure you're glad, aren't you ? J: 

" Oh, rather." 

" We all understood why you thought you ought to go, 
and now I've another plan ... yes ... charming. . . . 
I'm going to send Pauline away for a month . . . with 
Miss Verney . . . yes . . . charming, charming plan . . . 
and you must make arrangements at once about your poems 
. . . and then perhaps you could give them to Pauline for 
her birthday. . . ." 




33 2 Guy and Pauline 

" But I don't think the Rector ought to pay for them," 
Guy objected. 

" The Rector wants to pay for them. But of course he 
won't say anything about it, and you will have to make 
the arrangements yourself." 

" You're all so good to me, and I feel such a fraud," sa 
Guy. 

" You'd better make arrangements with the man you 
sent them to first . . . and Pauline needn't know anything 
about it ... and I shan't say I've persuaded you not to go 
to China ... or else she will be worried . . . she's looking 
rather pale ... I think two or three weeks by the seaside 
. . . Lyme Regis perhaps or Cromer . . . Lyme Regis, 
I think, because the trains to Folkestone have been torn out 
... yes ... charming, charming." 

After lunch Guy told Pauline in the garden that he had 
decided not to accept the post he had been offered, and she 
was so obviously overjoyed at his decision, that he no longer 
had the heart to feel the slightest disappointment. 

" Guy, I've been so stupid," she told him. " I've depressed 
you without any reason, but I will come back from Scar- 
borough quite well." 

Guy began to laugh. 

" Oh, why are you laughing ? " 

" Dearest, because I cannot make out where you really 
are going." 

" Scarborough, because Miss Verney has chosen Scar- 
borough." 

They talked for a while of the letters that each would 
write to the other and of what a Summer should follow that 
short parting, when every day they would be together and 
when perhaps even such days as those at Ladingford might 
come again. 

" And you won't worry about anything all this time you're 
away ? " Guy asked. 



&c 

. 



Another Spring 333 

" I won't, indeed I won't." 

Guy went home to find a telegram from Comeragh saying 
that Sir George Gascony had got appendicitis and would not 
be going to Persia for a month or two at least. Yet he did 
not mention this telegram at the Rectory when next day he 
came to say good-bye to Pauline, because he was anxious 
to preserve the idea of his having vainly attempted to do 
something, and when he sat alone in his orchard the same 
afternoon, he had an emotion of something very near to re- 
lief that for a while there would be no more heart-searchings 
and stress, no more misgivings and reproaches and despairs. 
He was perfectly happy, sitting by himself in the orchard 
and staring at the blackthorn by the margin of the stream. 



Afru 

MISS VERNEY was so droll at Scarborough and 
enjoyed herself so much that Pauline in her 
pleasure at the success of what the old maid called 
their * jaunt ' really was able to put aside for the present her 
own perplexities. The sands were empty at this season and 
the Spa unpopulous except for a few residents. The wind 
blew inland from a sparkling sea, while Miss Verney with 
bonnet all awry sitting in a draughty shelter declared that 
somehow like this she pictured the Riviera ; and when the 
weather was too bad even for Miss Verney's azure dreams 
Pauline and she sat cosily among the tropic shells and 
Berlin wool of their lodgings. Long letters used to come 
every day from Guy, and long letters had to be written by 
Pauline to him ; while perpetually Miss Verney tinkled 
on with marine tales that if no doubt nautically inaccurate 
had nevertheless a fine flavour of salt water. 

" I remember I was sitting in the parlour window at 
Southsea when a regiment ... I remember a Captain in 
the Royal Marines ... I remember how anxious my father 
was that I should have been a boy." 

" Oh, dear Miss Verney, you can't remember that." 
" Oh, yes, he invariably spoke of me as the Midshipman, I 
remember. I would then have been about eight years of 
age . . . pray give my very kind regards to Mr. Guy and say 
how well we are both looking and what a benefit this fine 
air is to be sure, and don't forget our little expedition to the 
theatre. You must tell Mr. Guy the story of the piece. He 
will certainly enjoy hearing about that very nice-mannered 

334 



Another Spring 335 

convict who . . ah dear ! how my poor father used to revel 
in the play." 

Miss Verney's conversation scarcely ever stopped, and 
while Pauline was writing letters it was always particularly 
brisk, but she used to enjoy the accompaniment as she would 
have enjoyed the twittering of a bird. It seemed to inspire 
her letters with the equable gaiety that Guy was so glad to 
think was coming back to her. His own letters were in- 
variably cheerful, and Pauline began to count the days to the 
time when she would see him again. Easter had gone by, and 
the weather was so steadily fine that it was a pity not to be 
together. He wrote of primroses awaiting her footsteps in 
the forest, of blue dog-violets and cowslips in the hollows 
of Wychf ord down, of all the birds that were now arrived in 
England, of the cuckoo's first call and of the first swallow 
seen. 

Come lack soon, my own, my sweet, he wrote. Come back 
and let this winter be all forgotten. I climbed up to the 
top of the church tower to-day, and oh, the tulips in your 
garden and oh, the emptiness of that garden notwithstanding ! 
Come back, my Pauline, for you'll see the iris buds in the 
paddock and you've no idea of the way in which that river of ours 
sparkles on these April mornings. I wish I could tell you how re- 
mote this Winter already has grown. It has crept out of memory 
like a dejected nightmare at breakfast. Ton are never to think 
again about the stupid things I've said about religion : think 
only, my dearest, that I hope always for your faith. It would 
be dishonest of me to say that I believe now exactly as you 
believe, but I want to believe like that. Perhaps Pm illogical 
in writing this : perhaps all the time I do believe. Forget 
too what I said about Confession. I would almost go myself 
to prove my penitence (to you /), but I just can't bring myself 
to do that, because for me it really would be useless and would 
turn me against everything you count as holy. Forget all that 
has cast a shadow on our love. Count it all as my heedlessness 




336 Guy ana Pauline 

and be confident that I alone was to blame. I would write 
more, but letters are such impossible things for intimacy. Some 
people can pour out their souls on paper : I can't. That's 
really what my poems suffer from. I have been working at 
them again since you were away, and they have a kind of cold- 
ness, a sort of awkward youthful reserve. Perhaps that's 
better than youthful exuberance, and yet I don't know. One 
can prune the too prodigal growth, but one can't always be sure 
of having the prodigality when one has the maturity. The 
metaphors seem to be getting rather tied up, and you must be 
bored by now with my chattering criticism. 

Tour mother came to tea yesterday and brought Mtnica. 
Margaret is rather in seclusion at present on account of 
Richard's arrival, I fancy. She's obviously dreading other people's 
notice. It is rather a self-conscious business, this waiting for the 
arrival of someone whom everybody expects is going to play such 
an important part in her life. If we were separated now for 
two years, it would be different ; but I cun see that Margaret 
is dreadfully afraid that now, having at last made up her mind 
to marry Richard, she may not care for him as much as she did. 
He Twist be a fine fellow. I'm looking forward tremendously 
to his coming. Monica was perfectly delightful yesterday, and 
grew quite excited in her nun-like way over the ultimate decora- 
tion of Flashers Mead. Dear me, what taste you all have got, 
and what a very great deal ytu've taught me ! Ton must most of 
all forget that 1 ever said a word against your sisters. They 
have really equipped me in a way with a point of view toward 
art. I tried to tell Monica so yesterday afternoon. In fact 
we got on very well together. In a way, you know, she almost 
appreciates you more than Margaret does. You represent her 
hope, her ideal of the world. Worldly one, I must say good- 
night. Tell Miss Verney with my love that all her cats send 
their best respects and compliments and that Bellerophon par- 
ticularly requests that his mistress will bring back whatever 
fish is in season at Scarborough. Oh, the funniest thing I've 



Another Spring 337 

forgotten to tell you ! Miss Peasey was chased by some bullocks 
across the big field behind the orchard ! She was too priceless 
about it when she got home. 

Pauline began to think it was impossible for her ever to 
have had the least worry in the course of her engagement. 
This was the first time she had been parted from Guv for 
more than a week during the whole of a year, and there was 
something very reassuring in such an opportunity to regard 
him like this so disinterestedly, to find that the separation was 
having the traditional effect and to be positive that she was 
going to meet him again at the end of April more in love 
than ever. Nevertheless she was always aware of being 
grateful for the repose from problems, and she did once or 
twice play with the idea of having perhaps made a mistake in 
objecting to his going abroad. It was on occasions of doubt 
like this that Pauline would try to impress Miss Verney with 
what existence had already meant to her. 

" I'm feeling so old, Miss Verney." 

" Old, my dear ? Oh, that cannot be true," exclaimed 
her friend. 

" Falling very much in love does make one feel old," 
Pauline declared. 

" Let me see," Miss Verney went on, " let me try to 
remember how I felt. My impression is now that when I was 
in love I felt much younger that I do at present, but perhaps 
that is natural, for it is very nearly thirty years ago since 
William and I parted." 

" Is he still alive ? " 

" Oh, yes, he is still alive, but I have never seen him and 
he must be wonderfully altered. Sometimes I think of all 
the days that have gone by since we parted. It seems so 
strange to think of our lives being able to go on, when once 
it seemed to both of us that life could not go on at all if we 
were not together. It seems so strange to think of him 



33 8 Guy and Pauline 






sgan 



eating his lunch somewhere at the same time that somewhere 
else I am eating my lunch. Who knows if he ever thinks 
of me, who knows indeed ? " 

" If anything happened to prevent our marriage," began 
Pauline thoughtfully, and then was silent. 

Miss Verney opened wide her pale blue eyes. 

" And what could happen ? " she asked grandly. 

" I've no business to imagine such a thing, have I ? 

" None whatever," said Miss Verney decidedly. 

But had Miss Verney's love affair been complicated by 
anything more than merely natural difficulties ? Guy's 
debts and unsuccess were nothing in comparison with other 
elements of disaccord . . . and then Pauline pulled herself 
up from brooding and resolutely forced her mind to contem- 
plate a happy Summer. Had she not just now been congratu- 
lating herself upon the disappearance of all worries in this 
sea-air ? 

The time at Scarborough drew to a close, and about a 
week before her birthday came the news of Richard's arrival 
from India. She and Miss Verney packed up and were home 
in Wychford two days before they were expected. 

" Richard, how lovely to see you again," Pauline cried. 
" And oh, Richard, I'm sure you've grown. Don't you think 
he has grown ? " she demanded of everybody. " Richard, 
how clever of you to grow when you're twenty-seven." 

It was really like old times to go babbling on like this, 
while Richard sat and smiled encouragingly and spoke never 
a word. 

" Coming for a stroll ? " he asked. 

" Oh, but I ought to see Guy first," she said. " Richard, 
I hope you like Guy." 

He nodded. 

" Do you think he looks like a poet ? " 

" Never seen a poet before," said Richard. 

" Oh, but like your idea of a poet ? " 



Another Spring 339 

" Never thought much about poets," said Richard. " So 
you aren't coming for a stroll ? " 

" I will to-morrow, but I must spend the sunset with 
Guy." 

Guy was waiting for her by the paddock, and they floated 
downstream out of reach of people. In their own peninsula 
they kissed away the absence of twenty-two days. 

" You look much better," said Guy critically. 

" I'm perfectly well." 

" And happy ? " 

She answered him with her eyes. 

" Why, Pauline, I believe you're quite shy of me ! " 

She blushed. 

" I really am a little, you know," she whispered. " Did 
you like Richard ? Oh, Guy, I hope you did." 

"Of course I did." 

" And, Guy, you don't mind if I go for a walk with him 
to-morrow morning ? You see, I know he's longing to hear 
about Margaret and himself." 

" But you'll come out with me in the afternoon ? " 

" Why, of course." 

" Then Richard may have the morning," said Guy. " And 
I hope you'll arrange everything between him and Mar- 
garet so successfully that he won't steal any more hours 
from me." 

When Pauline had left Guy that evening she thought how 
strangely it had been like meeting him for the first time all 
over again. Or rather it was as if they had walked a long 
way down the wrong road and were now beginning to walk 
somewhat tentatively along what she hoped was surely the 
right road at last. Her duty was above all to help Guy with 
the material burdens : she must never again let him think 
that his debts or his prospects had any power to worry her. 
Merely most tactfully must she try to keep him from 
extravagance, and, oh dear, how she hoped that he had not 




340 Guy and Pauline 

bought her an expensive birthday present. It was too late 
to say anything about it now, but if Guy had been wisely 
economical, how happy she would be. How she hoped too 
that Richard had not brought home from India a present 
that would annoy Margaret. Really it was a most oppressive 
business, this week before her coming of age, for between 
Guy's extravagance and Richard's . . . well, it was really 
not so much bad taste as Indian taste. She would love any- 
thing he gave her of course, but perhaps he would consult 
beforehand with Margaret. Dear Richard, he was so sweet 
and touching, and if only he had not brought her something 
very elaborately carved. She met him next morning half 
way to Fairfield, and two years were obliterated as she kept 
pace with his long stride when they turned aside from the 
high road and tramped upward over the grassy wold. 

" Richard, isn't it very hot in India ? " 

He nodded. 

" And didn't you ever get used to walking a bit more 
slowly in India ? " 

He laughed. 

" You lazy little thing. I thought you and Aunt Verney 
had been in training at Scarborough. Come on, let's sit 
down then." 

They sat down, and Richard drew with his stick in the 
close turf. 

" Is that your bridge ? " Pauline asked with all the interest 
she could put into her voice. 

He laughed for a long time. 

" Pauline, you villain, it's the beginning of Margaret's 
face ! " 

She clapped her hands. 

" Oh, Richard, aren't I a villain ? But, you know, it's 
not very frightfully like anything, is it ? " 

" Pauline," he said suddenly in that sharp voice in which 
two years ago he had entrusted his interests to her before 



Another Spring 341 

he went away. " Pauline, is Margaret going to marry 
me ? " 

" Why, of course she is, Richard." 

" Has she spoken to you about me ? " 

" But you know she never speaks about her own affairs and 
that she can't bear anybody else to speak of them to her." 

" Then how do you know ? " he asked. 

" Well, perhaps because I'm so much in love with Guy," 
Pauline whispered. 

" I don't see how that quite works. I'm a very dull sort 
of a chap after that Guy of yours." 

" But you're not at all," Pauline declared. " And if you 
take my advice you won't think you're dull. You'll make 
Margaret marry you. Really I'm sure that what she would 
like best is to be made to do something. You see, she's a 
darling but she is just a very tiny little bit spoilt. You mustn't 
be so patient with her. But, Richard dear, I know she loves 
you, because she practically told Guy that she did." 

" Guy ? " he echoed looking rather indignant. 

" Well, you must understand how sweet Margaret was to 
him about me. She was so sympathetic, and really she 
practically brought about our engagement. Oh, I do love 
her so, Richard, and I do want her to be happy and I do 
know so dreadfully well that you are the very person to make 
her happy." 

" Pauline, you are a pink brick," he avowed. 

And scarcely another word did he say for the rest of their 
walk. 

Pauline went to Margaret's room that night and, after 
fidgeting all the while her sister was undressing, suddenly 
plunged down beside her bed and caught hold of her hand. 

" Margaret, you're not to snub me, because I absolutely 
must speak. I must beg you not to keep Richard waiting 
any longer. Do, my darling, darling Margaret, do be kind to 
him and not so cold. He simply adores you, and . . . why, 



34 2 Guy and Pauline 

Margaret, you're crying . . . oh, let me kiss you, my 
Margaret, because you were so wonderful about Guy, and 
I've been a beast to you and you must, you must be happy." 

" If I could only love him as you love Guy," Margaret 
sighed between her tears. 

" You do really ... at least perhaps not quite as much. 
Oh, Margaret, don't be angry with me if I whisper some- 
thing to you : think how much you would love him if you 
and he had . . . Margaret, you know what I mean." 

Pauline blew out the candle and rushed from the dark 
room ; and lying awake in her own bed, she fancied among 
the flowers of the Rectory such fairy children for Margaret 
and herself, such fairy children dancing by the margin of 
the river. 






May 

ON the morning before Pauline's birthday Guy 
received a letter from Michael Fane announcing 
abruptly his engagement and adding that on ac- 
count of worldly opposition he had been persuaded into a 
postponement of his marriage for two months. Guy was 
rather ironically amused by the serious manner in which 
Michael took so brief a delay, and he could not help think- 
ing how unreasonably impatient of trifles people with ample 
private means often showed themselres. Michael wrote tkat 
he would like to spend some of his probation at Plashers 
Mead and alluded to the * luck ' of his friend in being so 
near his Pauline. 

Guy wrote a letter of congratulation, and then he put 
Michael's news out of his mind in order to examine the 
two complete sets of the proofs of his poems which had 
also arrived that morning. He was engaged in the task of 
making rather a clumsy binding for them out of a piece of 
stained vellum, when Richard Ford came round to Plashers 
Mead. Guy welcomed him gladly, for besides the personal 
attraction he felt toward this lean and silent engineer he 
perceived in the likelihood of Richard's speedy marriage an 
earnest of his own. Somehow that marriage was going to 
break the spell of inactivity, to which at the Rectory all 
seemed to be subject and from which Guy was determined 
to keep Richard free, even if it were necessary to shake him 
as continuously as tired wanderers in the snow are shaken 
out of a dangerous sleep. 

" I came round to consult with you about my present to 
Pauline to-morrow," said Richard very solemnly. " I've 

343 




344 Guy and Pauline 

brought round one or two little things, so that you could give 
me your advice." 

" Why, of course I will," said Guy. 

" They're downstairs in the hall. I had some difficulty 
in explaining to your housekeeper that I wasn't a pedlar." 

In the hall was stacked a pile completely representative 
of the bazaar : half-a-dozen shawls, the model of a temple, 
a carved table, some inlaid stools, every sort of typical 
oriental gewgaw, in fact an agglomeration that seemed to 
invite the smell of cheap incense for its effective display. 

" Godbold drove them over," Richard explained as he 
saw Guy's astonishment. " Now look here, what's the best 
present for Pauline ? You see I'm not at all an artistic sort 
of chap, and I don't want to hoick forward something that's 
going to be more of a nuisance than anything else." 

" It's really awfully difficult to choose," said Guy rather 
ambiguously. 

Then he discovered a simple ivory paper-knife which he 
declared was just the thing, having the happy thought that 
he would not cut the set of proofs he was binding for 
Pauline, so that to-morrow Richard could have the pleasure 
of beholding his gift put to immediate use. 

" You've chosen the smallest thing of the lot," said the 
disappointed donor. " You don't think a shawl as well ? " 
he asked, holding up yards of gaudy material. 

" Well, candidly I think Pauline's too fair for that colour 
scheme, don't you ? " 

" All right, the paper-knife. You don't mind if I leave 
these things here till Godbold can fetch them away, and 
... er ... I wish you'd choose something for yourself. 
I've always taken a kind of interest in this house, don't you 
know, and I've often thought about it in India." 

" I'd like a gong," said Guy at once, and Richard was 
obviously gratified by his quick choice, and still farther 
gratified when Guy suggested they should sound it immedi- 



Another Spring 345 

ately outside the kitchen-door. Solemnly Richard held it 
up in the passage, while Guy crashed forth a glorious 
clamour, at the summons of which Miss Peasey came rushing 
out. 

" Good gracious," she gasped. " I thought that dog Bob 
had jumped through the window." 

" This is a present for us from India," Guy shouted. 

" Oh, that's extremely handsome, isn't it ? Well now, I 
shall expect you to be punctual in future for your meals. 
Dear me, yes, quite a variety, I'm sure, after that measley 
bell." 

The gong was given a prominent position in the bare hall, 
and Guy invited Richard up to his own room. After the ques- 
tion of the presents had been solved Richard was shy and 
silent again, and Guy found it very hard to make conversation. 
Several times his visitor seemed on the point of getting some- 
thing off his mind, but when he was given an opportunity 
for speech, he never accepted it. Desperate for a topic Guy 
showed him the proofs of the poems and explained that he 
was binding them roughly as his present to Pauline to- 
morrow. 

" That's something I can't understand," said Richard 
intensely. " Writing ! It beats me ! " 

" Bridges would beat me," said Guy. 

Richard looked quite cheerful at this notion and under 
the influence of the encouragement he had received seemed 
at last on the point of getting out what he wanted to say, but 
he could manage nothing more confidential than a tug at his 
bristled fair moustache. 

" When are you and Margaret going to be married ? " 
Guy asked abruptly, for of course he had guessed that it was 
Margaret's name which was continually on the tip of his 
tongue. 

"By Jove, there you are, I'm rather stumped," said Richard 
gloomily. " You see the thing is ... well ... I suppose 




34 6 Guy and Pauline 

you know that when I started off to India last June year, 
Margaret and I were sort of engaged ... at least I was 
certainly engaged to her, only she hadn't absolutely made 
up her mind about me ... and of course that's just what 
you'd expect would happen to a chap like me . . . dash it 
all, Hazlewood, I'm afraid to ask her again ! " 

" I don't think you need be," said Guy. " Of course we 
haven't discussed you, except very indirectly," he hastily 
added, "but I'm positive that Margaret is only waiting 
for you to ask her to marry her on some definite day : 
on some definite day, Ford, that's the great thing to 
remember." 

" You mean I ought to say ' Margaret, will you marry me 
on the twelfth of August, or the first of September ? ' 
That's your notion, is it ? " 

Guy nodded. 

" By gad, I'll ask her to-day," said Richard. 

" And you'll be engaged to-morrow," Guy prophesied. 

" When are you and Pauline going to be married ? " 

Guy looked up quickly to see if the solid Richard were 
laughing at him, but there was nothing in those steel-blue 
eyes except the most benevolent enquiry. 

"That's the question," said Guy. "Writing is not 
quite such a certainty as bridge-building." 

" You mean there's the difficulty of money ? By Jove, 
that's bad luck, isn't it ? Still, you know, I expect that 
having the good fortune to have Pauline in love with you 
. . . well, I expect, you've got to expect a bit of difficulty 
somewhere, you know. You know, Pauline was . . ."he 
stopped and blinked at the window. 

" Pauline's awfully fond of you," Guy said encouragingly. 

" Hazlewood, that kid's been . . . well, I can't express 
myself, you know, but I'd ... well, I really can't talk 
about her." 

" I understand though," said Guy. " Look here, you'll 



Another Spring 347 

stay and have lunch with me, and then we can go across to the 
Rectory afterwards." 

Emotional subjects were tacitly put on one side to talk of 
the birds and butterflies that one might expect to find round 
Wychford, of Miss Verney and Godbold and other local 
characters, or of the prospects of the cricket team that year. 
After lunch Guy put the unbound set of proofs in his 
pocket and, launching the canoe, they floated down to the 
Rectory paddock. Mrs. Grey and the girls were all in the 
garden picking purple tulips, and Guy taking Pauline aside 
told her on what momentous quest Richard was come, sug- 
gesting that he should occupy the Rector's attention, while 
Pauline lured away her mother and Monica. 

The Rector was sitting in the library hard at work, rubbing 
the fluff from the anemone seeds with sand. 

" And what can I do for you, Sir ? " he asked. 

" I thought you'd like to see the proofs of my poems," 
said Guy. 

He laid the duplicates on the dusty table and tried to 
thank his patron for what he had done. The Rector waved 
a clay pipe deprecatingly. 

" You must thank Constance . . . you must thank my 
wife, if you thank anybody. But if I were you I shouldn't 
thank anybody till you find out for certain that she's done 
you a service," he recommended with a twinkle. 

Guy laughed. 

" Worrall doesn't want to publish until the Autumn." 

The Rector made a face. 

" All that time to wait for the verdict ? " 

" Time seems particularly hostile to me," Guy said. 

" You'll have to tweak his forelock pretty hard." 

" That's what I've come to consult you about. Do you 
think I ought to go to Persia with Sir George Gascony ? 
Mrs. Grey thought I oughtn't to take so drastic a step until 
1 had first tested my poems in public. But I've been reading 



348 Guy and Pauline 









them through, and they don't somehow look quite as impor- 
tant in print as they did in manuscript. I can't help feeling 
that I ought to have a regular occupation. What do you 
really advise me to do, Mr. Grey ? " 

The Rector held up his arms in mock dismay. 

" Gracious goodness me, don't implicate a poor country 
parson in such affairs ! I can give you advice about flowers 
and I can pretend to give you advice about your soul, but 
about the world, no, no." 

" I think perhaps I'll get some journalistic work in town," 
Guy suggested. 

" Persia or journalism ! " commented the Rector. " Well, 
well, they're both famous for fairy tales. I recommend 
journalism as being nearer at hand." 

" Then I'll take your advice." 

" Oh, dear me, you must not involve me in such a responsi- 
bility. Now, if you were a nice rational iris I would talk to 
you, but for a talented young man with his life before him 
I shouldn't even be a good quack. Come along, let's go out 
and look at the tulips." 

" You will glance through my poems ? " Guy asked 
diffidently. 

The Rector stood up and put his hand on the poet's 
shoulder. 

" Of course I will, my dear boy, and you mustn't be 
deceived by the manner of that shy old boor, the Rector of 
Wychford. Do what you think you ought to do, and make 
my youngest daughter happy. We shall be having her 
birthday before we know where we are." 

" It's to-morrow ! " 

" Is it indeed ? May Day. Of course. I remember last 
year I managed to bloom Iris Lorteti. But this year, no ! 
That wet May destroyed Iris Lorteti. A delicate creature. 
Rose and brown. A delicate lovely creature." 

Guy and the Rector pored over the tulips a while where 



Another Spring 349 

in serried borders they displayed their sombre sheen of 
amaranth and amethyst : then Guy strolled off to hear what 
was the news of Margaret and Richard. Pauline came flying 
to meet him down one of the long straight garden-paths. 

" Darling, they are to be married early in August," she 
cried. 

'rprle caught her to him and kissed her, lest in the first 
poignant realization of other people's joy she might seem to 
be escaping from him utterly. 

Guy had a few minutes with Margaret before he went 
home that evening, and they walked beside the tulip borders, 
she tall and dark and self-contained in the fading light 
being strangely suited by association with such flowers. 

" Dear Margaret," he said, " I want to tell you how 
tremendously I like Richard. Now that sounds patronizing. 
But I'm speaking quite humbly. These sort of Englishmen 
have been celebrated enough perhaps, and lately there's 
been a tendency to laugh at them, but, my God, what is 
there on earth like the Richards of England ? Margaret, you 
once very rightly reproved me for putting Pauline in a silver 
frame, do let me risk your anger and beg you never to put 
yourself in a silver frame from which to look out at Richard." 

" You do rather understand me, don't you ? " she said 
offering him her hand. 

" Help Pauline and me," he begged. 

" Haven't I always helped you ? " 

" Not always, but you will now that you yourself are no 
longer uncertain about your future. The moment you find 
yourself perfectly happy you'll be longing for everyone else 
to be the same." 

" But how haven't I helped you ? " she persisted. 

" It would be difficult to explain in definite words. But 
I don't think my idea of your attitude toward us could have 
been entirely invented by my fancy." 

" What attitude ? What do you mean, Guy ? " 




350 Guy and Pauline 

He shook his head. 

" My dear, if you aren't conscious of it, Fm certai 
not going to attempt to put it into words and involve myself 
in such a net." 

" How tantalizing you are ! " 

" No, I'm not. If you have the least inclination to think 
I may be right, then you know what I mean and you can do 
what I ask. If you haven't the least notion of what I mean, 
then it was all my fancy and I'm certainly not going to give 
my baseless fancies away." 

" This is all too cryptic," she murmured. 

" Then let it remain undeciphered," he said smiling ; 
and he led the conversation more directly toward their 
marriage and the strangeness of the Rectory without 
Margaret. 

Richard spent the night at Flashers Mead, and Guy heard 
the halting account of two years' uncertainty, of the bunga- 
low that had been taken and embowered against Margaret's 
coming, and of the way in which his bridge had spanned 
not merely the river, but the very ocean, and even time 
itself. 

Pauline's birthday morning was cloudless, and Guy, 
though to himself he was inclined to blame the action as 
weak, went to church and knelt beside her. Then afterward 
there was the scene of breakfast on the lawn that already with 
only this first repetition wore for him an immemorial air, 
so that he could no longer imagine a May Day that was not 
thus inaugurated. The presentation of his poems in proof 
had not a bit less wonderful an effect than he had hoped, 
for Pauline could never finish turning over the pages and 
loving the ludicrously tumbledown binding. 

" Oh, it's so touching ! I wish they could all be bound 
like this. And how I adore Richard's paper-knife." 

The four lovers disappeared after breakfast to enjoy the 
flashing May Day, and Monica left alone with her mother 



Another Spring 351 

looked a little sad, she, the only one of those three lovely 
daughters of the Rectory still undisturbed by the demands 
of the invading world. 

May that year was like the fabled Spring of poets ; and 
Guy and Pauline were left free to enjoy the passionate and 
merry month as perhaps never before had they enjoyed any 
season, not even that dreamed away fortnight at Ladingford 
last year. They had ceased for a while with the engagement 
of Richard and Margaret to be the central figures of the 
Rectory whether for blame or commendation, and desiring 
nothing better than to be left without interference they were 
lost in apple-blossom to every-day existence. Guy with the 
prospect of his poems' appearing in the Autumn felt that 
he was justified in forgetting responsibilities and, having 
weathered the financial crisis of the March quarter, he had 
now nothing to worry him until Midsummer. That was the 
date he had fixed upon in his mind as suitable for making a 
determined attempt upon London. He had planned to 
shut up Flashers Mead and to take a small room in Chelsea 
whence he would conquer in a few months the material 
obstacles that prevented their marriage. The poems now 
that they were in print seemed a less certain talisman to 
fame ; but they would serve their purpose, indeed they had 
served their purpose already, for this long secluded time 
would surely counterbalance the too easy victories of journal- 
ism. He would surely by now have lost that spruce Oxford 
cleverness and might fairly expect to earn his living with 
dignity. The least success would justify his getting married, 
and Pauline would enjoy two years spent high in some 
London attic within the sound of chirping sparrows and the 
distant whispers of humanity. They would perhaps be 
able to afford to fly for magic weeks to Plashers Mead, 
pastoral interludes in that crowded life which lay ahead. 
How everything had resolved itself latte rly, and how ths 
gift of glorious May should be accepted as the intimate and 



35 2 Guy and Pauline 

dearest benefaction to their love. He and Pauline were 
together from earliest morn to the last minute of these rich 
and shadowy eves. They wreathed their boat with boughs 
of apple- blossom and went farther up the river than they 
had ever gone. The cuckoo was still in tune, and still the 
kingcups gilded all that hollow land : there was not yet the 
lush growth of weeds and reeds that indolent June would 
use to delay their dreaming progress : and still all the trees 
and all the hedges danced with that first sharp green of 
Spring, that cold and careless green of Spring. 

Then when the hawthorn came into prodigal bloom, 
and all the rolling country broke in endless waves of blossom, 
Pauline in her muslin dress seemed like an airy joy sustained 
by all these multitudinous petals, dancing upon this flowery 
tide, this sweet foam of May. 

" My flower, my sweet, are you indeed mortal ? " he 
whispered. 

The texture of her sleeve against his was less tangible 
than the light breeze that puffed idly from the South to 
where they sat enraptured upon the damasked English grass. 
Apple-blossom powdered her lap and starred her light brown 
hair, and around them like a Circean perfume drowning the 
actual world hung the odorous thickets of hawthorn. 

The month glided along until the time of ragged robins 
came round again, and as if these flowers were positively of 
ill omen to Guy and Pauline, Mrs. Grey suddenly took it 
into her head again that they were seeing too much of each 
other. 

" I said you could see Pauline every day," she told Guy. 
" % But I did not say all day." 

" But I shall be going away soon," he said, " and it seems 
a pity to lose any of this lovely month." 

" I'm sure I'm right . . . and I did not know you had 
really decided to go away . . . I'm sure, yes, I'm positive 
Pm|right. . . . Why don't you be more like Margaret and 






Another Spring 353 

Richard . . . they aren't together all day long ... no, 
not all day." 

" But Pauline is so different from Margaret," Guy 
argued. 

:i Yes, I know . . . that's the reason . . . she is too 
impulsive. . . . Yes, it's much better not to be together all 
the time. . . . Pm glad you've settled to go to London . . . 
then perhaps you can be married next year. . . ." 

A rule came into force again, and Guy began to feel the 
old exasperation against the curb upon youth's leisure. 
Rather unjustly he blamed Margaret, because he felt that 
the spectacle of her sedate affection made his for Pauline 
appear too wild and Pauline herself beside Margaret seem 
completely distraught with love. 

It pleased Guy rather, and yet in a way it rather annoyed 
him that Michael Fane should choose this moment to 
announce his intention of spending some time at Plashers 
Mead. Perhaps a little of the doubt was visible in his wel- 
come, because Michael asked rather anxiously if he were 
intruding upon the May idyll : Guy laughed off the slight 
awkwardness and asked why Michael had not yet managed to 
get married. They talked about the evils of procrastination, 
but Guy could not at all see that Michael had much to 
complain of in a postponement of merely two months. 
His friend, however, was evidently rather upset, and he 
could not resist expatiating a little on his own grief with 
what Guy thought was the petulance of the too fortunate 
man. The warm May nights lulled them both and they used 
to pass pleasant evenings, leaning over the stream while 
the bats and fern-owls flew across the face of the decrescent 
moon ; yet for Guy all the beauty of the season was more 
than ever endowed with intolerable fugacity. 

Pauline with Michael's arrival began to be moody again ; 
would take no kind of interest in Michael's engagement ; 
would only begin to see again the endless delays that hung 




354 Guy and Pauline 

so heavily round their marriage. Michael was not at all in 
the way, for he spent all the time writing to his lady-love, 
of whom he had told Guy really nothing ; or he would sit 
in the lengthening grass of the orchard and read books of 
poetry, the pages of which used to wink with lucid reflec- 
tions caught from the leaves of the fruit-trees overhead. 

Guy looked over his shoulder and saw that he was reading 
The Statue and the Bust : 



So weeks grew months, years ; gleam by gleam 
The glory dropped from their youth and love, 
And both perceived they had dreamed a dream 






" That poem haunts me," exclaimed Guy with a shudder. 

Where is the use of the lip's red charm, 
The heaven of hair, the pride of the brow, 
And the blood that blues the inside arm 

Unless we turn, as the soul knows how, 
The earthly gift to an end divine ? 

" And yet I can't stop reading it," he sighed. 

How do their spirits pass, I wonder, 
Nights and days in the narrow room ? 

Still, I suppose, they sit and ponder 
What a gift life was, ages ago, 
Six steps out of the chapel yonder. 

On this Summer morning the words wrote themselves 
in fire across his brain. 

" They light the way to dusty death," he muttered over 
and over again, when he had left Browning to Michael 
and flung himself face downward in the orchard grass. 

In despair of what a havoc time was making of their youth 
and their love, that very afternoon he begged Pauline to 



Another Spring 355 

meet him again now in these dark nights of early Summer, 
now when soon he would be going away from her. 

" Going away ? " she echoed in alarm. " I suppose that's 
the result of your friend's visit." 

Guy, however, was not going to surrender again, and he 
insisted that when a month had passed he would indeed be 
gone from Flashers Mead. It was nothing to do with 
Michael Fane : it was solely his own determination to put 
an end to this unprofitable dalliance. 

" But your poems ? I thought that when your poems 
were published everything would be all right." 

" Oh, my poems," he scoffed. " They're valueless ! " 

"Guy!" 

" They're mere decoration. They are trifles." 

" I don't understand you." 

" I care for nothing but to be married to you. For 
nothing, do you hear ? Pauline, everything is to be sub- 
ordinate to that. I would even write and beg my father to 
take me as a junior usher at Fox Hall for that. We must be 
married soon. I can't bear to see Richard and Margaret 
sailing along so calmly and quietly toward happiness." 

In the end he persuaded her to make all sorts of oppor- 
tunities to meet him when no one else knew they were 
together. Even once most recklessly on a warm and moon- 
less night of May's languorous decline to June he took her 
in the canoe far away up the river ; and when they floated 
home dawn was already glistening on the banks and on the 
prow of their ghostly canoe. Through bird- song and rosy 
vapours she fled from him to her silent room, while he stood 
in a trance and counted each dewy footstep that with silver 
traceries marked her flight across the lawn. 



ANOTHER SUMMER 



MICHAEL FANE stayed on into June, and the 
fancy came to Pauline that he knew of these 
meetings with Guy at night. It enraged her with 
jealousy to think that he might have been taken into Guy's 
confidence so far and the prejudice against him grew more 
violent every day. She already had enough regrets for 
having given way to Guy's persuasion, and the memory of 
that last return at dawn to her cool reproachful room 
haunted her more bitterly when she thought of its no longer 
being a secret. The knowledge that Guy was soon going to 
leave Flashers Mead was another torment, for though in a 
way she was glad of his wanting to make the determined 
effort, she could not help connecting the resolve with his 
friend's visit, and in consequence of this her one desire was 
to upset the plan. The sight of Richard and Margaret 
progressing equably toward their marriage early in August 
also made her jealous, and she began unreasonably to ascribe 
to her sister an attitude of superiority that she allowed 
to gall her : and whenever Richard was praised by any of 
the family she could never help feeling now that the praise 
covered or implied a corresponding disparagement of Guy. 
With Monica she nearly quarrelled over religion, for though 
in her heart it occupied the old supreme place, her escapades 
at night, by the tacit leave they seemed to give Guy to 
presume that religion no longer counted as her chief resource, 
had led her for the first time to make herself appear out- 
wardly indifferent. In fact she now dreaded going to church, 
because she felt that if she once surrendered to the holy 
influence she would suffer again all the remorse of the winter 




360 Guy and Pauline 

that now by desperate deferment she was able for a little 
while to avoid. On top of all this vexation of soul she was 
angry with Guy because he seemed unable to realize that 
they were both walking on the edge, of an abyss, and that all 
this abandonment of themselves to the joy of the fugitive 
season was a vain attempt to cheat fate. At such an hour 
she was naturally jealous that a friend's private affairs 
should occupy so much of Guy's attention, when he himself 
was walking blindly toward the doom of their love that 
now sometimes in flashes of horrible clarity she beheld at 
hand. Guy, however, persisted in trying to force Michael 
upon her : the jealousy such attempts fostered made her 
more passionate when she was alone with him, and this, as 
all the while she dreadfully foresaw, heaped up the reckoning 
that her conscience would presently have to pay. 

One afternoon she and Margaret and Monica went to tea 
at Flashers Mead, when to her sharp annoyance she found 
herself next to Guy's friend. She made up her mind at the 
beginning of the conversation that he was criticizing her 
and, feeling shy and awkward, she could only reply to him 
in gasps and monosyllables and blushes. He seemed to her 
the coldest person she had ever known : he seemed utterly 
without emotion or sympathy : he must surely be the worst 
friend imaginable for Guy. He took no interest in anything 
apparently ; and then suddenly he definitely revealed him- 
self as the cause of Guy's ambition to conquer London. 

" I think Guy ought to go away from here," he was saying. 
" I told him when he first took this house that he would be 
apt to dream away all his time here. You must make him 
give it up, Miss Grey. He's such an extraordinarily brilliant 
person that it would be terrible if he let himself do nothing 
in the end. Of course he's been lucky to meet you, and that's 
kept him alive, but now he ought to go to London. He 
/eally ought." 

Pauline hated herself for the way in which she was gasping 



Another Summer 361 

out her monosyllabic agreement with all this ; but she did 
not feel able to argue with Michael Fane. He disconcerted 
her by his air of severe judgment, and however hard she 
tried she could not contradict him. Then suddenly in a rage 
with herself and with him she began to talk nonsense at the 
top of her voice, rattling on until her sisters looked up at 
her in surprize, while Michael evidently embarrassed 
scarcely answered. At last the uncomfortable visit came 
to an end, and as she walked back with Guy, while the others 
went in front, she began to inveigh against the friend more 
fiercely than ever. 

" My dear, I can't think why you have him to stay with 
you. He hates your being engaged to me. . . ." 

" Oh, nonsense," Guy interrupted rather crossly. 

" He does, he does ; and he hates your staying down here. 
He says Flashers Mead is ruining you and that you ought to 
go to London. Now, you see, I know why you want to go 
there." 

" Really, Pauline, you're talking nonsense. I'm going to 
London because I'm positive that your father and mother 
both think I ought to go. And I'm positive myself that I 
ought to go. I've been wrong to stay here all this time. 
I've done nothing to help forward our marriage. Look how 
nervous and . . . how nervous and overwrought you've 
become. It's all my fault." 

" How I hate that friend of yours ! " 

Guy looked up in astonishment at the fervour of her 
tone. 

" And how he hates me," she went on. 

" Oh, really, my dear child, you are ridiculous," Guy 
exclaimed petulantly. " Are you going to take up this 
attitude towards all my friends ? You're simply horridly 
jealous, that's the whole matter." 

Pauline did not quarrel now, because she thought it 
might gratify Michael Fane to see the discord he had created, 



362 Guy and Pauline 



but she treasured up her anger and knew that, when later 
she and Guy were alone, she would say whatever hard things 
now rested unsaid. Next morning Guy asked her if she 
would be very cross to hear that he was going to town for a 
night. 

" With your friend ? " she asked. 

He nodded, and she turned away from him clouded blue 
eyes. 

" It is unfair of you to hate Michael," he pleaded. " I 
told him you thought he was cold, and he said at once, e do 
tell her Pm not cold, and say how lovely I think her.' He 
said you were very lovely and strange ... a fairy's child." 

Still Pauline would not turn her head. 

" I told him that you were indeed a fairy's child," Guy 
went on, " and I told him how sometimes I felt I should go 
off my head with the responsibility your happiness was to 
me. For indeed, Pauline, it is, it is a responsibility." 

She felt she must yield when Guy spoke like that, but 
then unfortunately he began to talk about his friend again 
and sullen jealousy returned. 

" Listen, Pauline. I'm going up to town because Michael 
wants me to see this girl he is going to marry. He was rather 
pathetic about her. It seems that . . . well . . . it's a 
sort of misalliance, and his people are angry about it, and 
really I must be loyal and go up to town and help him with 
. . . well . . . you see really all his friends have been 
unsympathetic about her." 

" I expect they've every right to be," said Pauline. 

" I do think you're unreasonable. I'm only going away 
for a night." 

" Oh, go, go, go," she cried, and pulling herself free of 
his caress, she left him by the margin of the stream discon- 
solate and perplexed. 

Pauline, when Guy had gone to London with his friend, 
began to fret herself with the fear that he would not come 



. 



Another Summer 363 

back, and she was very remorseful at the thought that if he 
did not she would be responsible. She half expected to get 
a letter next day to tell her of his determination to remain 
in town for good, and when no letter came she exaggerated 
still more all her fears and longed to send him a telegram to 
ask if he had arrived safely, railing at herself for having let 
him leave her without knowing where he was going to stay. 
By the following afternoon all the jealousy of Michael had 
been swallowed up in a passionate desire for Guy's return, 
and when about three o'clock she saw him coming through 
the wicket in the high grey wall her heart beat fast with 
relief. She said not a word about Guy's journey, nor did 
she even ask if his friend had come back with him. She 
cared for nothing but to show by her tenderness how 
penitent she was for that yesterday which had torn such 
a rent in the perfection of their love. Guy was visibly much 
relieved to find that her jealous fit had passed away, and 
when she asked for an account of his journey he gave it to 
her most eagerly. 

" Yesterday was rather tragic," he said. " We went to see 
this Lily Haden to whom Michael had engaged himself, 
and . . . well . . . it's impossible to explain to you what 
happened, but it was all very horrible and rather like a scene 
in a French play. Anyhow Michael is cured of that fancy, 
and now he talks of going out of England and even of becom- 
ing a monk. These extraordinary religious fads that succeed 
violent emotion of an utterly different kind ! Personally 
I don't think the monkish phase will survive the disillusion- 
ment that's just as much bound to happen in religion as it 
was bound to happen over that girl." 

" What was she like ? " Pauline asked, resolving to appear 
interested in Michael. 

" I never saw her," said Guy. " The tragedy took place 
* off ' in the Aristotelian manner." 

" Oh, Guy, don't use such long words." 



364 Guy and Pauline 

" Dear little thing, I wish you wouldn't ask any more 
about this girl. She is something quite outside your 
imagination ; though I could make of her behaviour such 
a splendid lesson for you, when you think you have behaved 
dreadfully in escaping from your room for an hour or two of 
moonlight. Poor Michael ! he's as scrupulous as you are, 
and it's rather ironical that you and he shouldn't get on. 
Puritans, both of you ! Now there's another friend of mine, 
Maurice Avery, whom you'd probably like very much, and 
yet he isn't worth Michael's little finger." 

" Did you see him yesterday ? " 

" Yes, we went round to his studio in Grosvenor Road. 
Oh, my dear, such a glorious room looking out over the river 
right into the face of the young moon coming up over 
Lambeth. A jolly old Georgian house. And at the back 
another long low window looking out over a sea of roofs to 
the sunset behind the new Roman cathedral. There were 
lots of people there, and a man was playing that Brahms 
sonata your mother likes so much. Pauline, you and I 
simply must go and live in Chelsea or Westminster and we 
can come back to Plashers Mead after the most amazing 
adventures. You would be such a rose on a London window- 
sill, or would you then be a tuft of London Pride, all blushes 
and bravery ? " 

" Bravery ! Why I'm frightened to death by the idea of 
going to live in London. Oh, Guy, I'm frightened of any- 
thing that will break into our life here." 

" But, dearest, we can't stay at Wychford for ever doing 
nothing. Read The Statue and the Bust if you want to 
understand the dread that lies cold on my heart sometimes. 
Think how already nearly twenty months have gone by 
since we met, and still we are in the same position. We 
know each other better and we are more in love than ever, 
but you have all sorts of worries at the back of your mind 
and I have all sorts of ambitions not yet fulfilled. Michael 



Another Summer 365 

has at least managed to make a complete ass of himself, 
but what have I done ? " 

" Your poems . . . your poems," she murmured des- 
pairingly. " Are your poems really no use ? Oh, Guy, that 
seems such a cruel thing to believe." 

Guy talked airily of what much more wonderful things he 
was going to write, and when he asked Pauline to meet him 
this very midnight on the river, she had to consent, because 
in the thought that he appeared to be drifting out of reach 
of her love she felt half distraught and would have sacrificed 
anything to keep him by her. 

The June evening seemed of a sad uniform green, for the 
blossom of the trees was departed and the borders were not 
yet marching in Midsummer array. There was always a 
sadness about these evenings of early June, a sadness, and 
sometimes a threat when the wind blew loudly among the 
young foliage. Those gusty eves were almost preferable 
to this protracted and luminous melancholy in which the 
sinking crescent of the moon hung scarcely more bright than 
ivory. The pensive beauty was too much for Pauline, who 
wished that she could shut out the obstinate day and read 
by candlelight such a book as Alice in Wonderland until it 
was time to go to bed. Her white fastness, rose-bloomed by 
sunset as she dressed for dinner, reproached her intention of 
abandoning its shelter to-night, and she determined that 
this should really be the last escapade. There was no harm 
in what she had done of course, as Guy assured her, and yet 
there was harm in behaving so traitorously toward 
that narrow white bed, toward pious wide-eyed %3aint 
Ursula and Tobit's companionable angel. 

The languor of the evening was heavy upon all the family : 
Monica was the only one who had the energy to go to her 
instrument. She played Chopin, and the austerity of her 
method made the ballades and the nocturnes more danger- 
ously sweet. Gradually the melodies lulled most of Pauline's 



366 Guy and Pauline 



fears and charmed her to look forward eagerly to the velvet 
midnight when she with Guy beside her would float deep 
into such caressing glooms. After Monica had played 
them all into drowsiness, Pauline had to wait until the last 
sound had died away in the house and the illumination of 
the last window had faded from the bodeful night that was 
stroking her window with invitation to come forth. 

Twelve o'clock clanged from the belfry, and Pauline 
opened her bedroom door to listen. She had put on her 
white frieze coat, for although the night was warm the wear- 
ing of such outdoor garb gave a queer kind of propriety to 
the whole business, and at the far end of the long corridor 
she saw herself in the dim candlelight mirrored like a ghost 
in the Venetian glass. From the heart of the house the 
cuckoo calling midnight a minute or two late made her 
draw back in alarm, and not merely in alarm, but also 
rather sentimentally, as if by her action she were going to 
offend that innocent bird of childhood. She wondered 
why to-night she felt so sensitive beforehand, since 
usually the regret had followed her action ; but promising 
herself that to-night should indeed be the last time she 
would ever take this risk, she crept on tip-toe down the 
stairs. 

In the glimmering starshine Pauline could see Guy 
standing by the wicket in the high grey wall, a remote and 
spectral form against the blackness all around him where 
the invisible trees gathered and hoarded the gloom. She 
sighed with relief to find that the arms with which so 
gently he enfolded her were indeed warm with life. Her 
passage over the lawn had been one long increasing fear 
that the shape, so indeterminate and motionless that awaited 
her approach, might not be Guy in life, but a wan image of 
what he had been, a demon lover, a shadow from the cave 
of death. 

" Guy, my darling, my darling, it is you ! Oh, I was so 



et 



Another Summer 367 

frightened that when I came close you wouldn't really be 
there." 

She leaned half sobbing upon his shoulder. 

" Pauline, don't talk so loud. I only did not come across 
the lawn to meet you for fear of attracting attention." 

" Let me go back now," she begged, " now that I've seen 
you." 

But Guy soon persuaded her to come with him through 
the wicket and out over the paddock where the grass 
whispered in their track, until at the sight of the canoe's 
outline she lost her fears and did not care how recklessly 
she explored the deeps of the night. 

In silence they travelled upstream under the vaulted 
willows : under the giant sycamore whose great roots came 
writhing out of the darkness above the sheen of the water : 
under Wychford bridge whose cold breath dripped down 
in icy beads upon the thick swirl beneath : and then out 
through starshine across the mill-pool. Pauline held her 
breath while around their course was a sound of water 
sucking at the vegetation, gurgling and lapping and chuck- 
ling against the invisible banks. 

" The Abbey stream ? " murmured Guy. 

She scarcely breathed her consent, and the canoe tore 
the growing sedge like satin as it bumped against the slope 
of the bank. Pauline felt that she was protesting with her 
real self against the part she was playing in this dream : but 
the dream became too potent and she had to help Guy to 
push the canoe up through the grass and down again into 
the quiet water beyond. It was much blacker here on 
account of the overhanging beeches, but continually Pauline 
strained through the darkness for a sight of the deserted 
house the windows of which seemed to follow with blank 
and bony gaze their progress. 

" Guy, let's hurry for I can see the Abbey in the star- 
light," she exclaimed. 



368 Guy and Pauline 






;c You have better eyes than mine if you can," he laughed. 
" My sweet, your face from where Pm sitting is as filmy as 
a rose at dusk. And even if you can see the Abbey, what 
does it matter ? Do you think it's going to run down the 
hill and swim after us ? " 

Pauline tried to laugh, but even that grotesque picture of 
his evoked a new terror, and huddled among the cushions 
she sat with beating heart, shuddering when the leaves of 
the great beech-trees fondled her hair. She looked back to 
her own white fastness and began to wonder if she had left 
the candle burning there : it seemed to her that she had and 
that perhaps presently, perhaps even now, somebody was 
coming to see why it was burning. And still Guy took her 
farther up the stream. How empty her room would look 
and what a chill would fall upon the sister or mother that 
peeped in. 

" Oh, take me back," she cried. 

But still the canoe cleft the darkness and now, emerging 
from the cavernous trees, they glided once again into 
starshine infinitely outspread, through which with the dim 
glister of a snake the stream coiled and uncoiled itself. 

Guy grasped at the reeds and drew the canoe close 
against the bank, making it fast with two paddles plunged 
into the mud. Then he gathered her to him so that her 
head rested upon his shoulder and her lips could meet his. 
Thus enfolded for a long while she lay content. The candle 
in her room burned itself out and nothing could disturb 
her absence, no one could suppose that she was here on this 
starlit river. Scarcely indeed was she here except as in the 
midway of deepest sleep, resting between a dream and a 
dream. She might have stayed unvexed for ever if Guy 
had not begun to talk, for although at first his voice came 
softly and pleasantly out of the night and lulled her like 
a tune heard faintly in some far-off corner of the mind, 
minute by minute his accents became more real : suddenly, 



Another Summer 369 

as her drowsed arm slid over the edge of the canoe into the 
water, she woke and began herself to talk and, as she talked, 
to shrink again from the vision of her whole life whether 
past or present or to come. 

In this malicious darkness she wanted to hear more about 
that girl who had betrayed Michael Fane ; she wanted to 
know things that before she had not even known were hidden. 
She pressed Guy with questions, and when he would not 
answer them she began to feel jealous even of unrevealed 
sin. This girl was the link between all those girls at whose 
existence in his own past Guy had once hinted. Michael 
Fane appeared like the tempter and Guy like his easy prey. 
Distortions of the most ordinary, the most trifling incidents 
piled themselves upon her imagination ; and that visit 
to London assumed a ghastly and impenetrable mysterious- 
ness. 

Guy vainly tried to laugh away her fancies : faster 
and still faster the evil cohorts swept up against her, almost 
as tangible as bats flapping into her face. 

" Don't talk so loud," said Guy crossly. " Do remember 
where we are." 

Then she reproached him with having brought her here. 
She felt that he deserved to pay the penalty, and defiantly 
she was talking louder and louder until Guy with feverish 
strokes urged the canoe downstream toward home. 

" For God's sake, keep quiet," he begged. " What has 
happened to you ? " 

That he should be frightened by her violence made her 
more angry. She threw at him the wildest accusations, how 
that through him she had ceased to believe in God, to care 
for her family, for her honour, for him, for life itself. 

" Pauline, will you keep quiet. Are you mad to behave 
like this ? " 

He drove the canoe into a thorn-bush, so that it should 
not upset, and he seized her wrist so roughly that she 

2 A 






37 Guy and Pauline 

thought she screamed. There was something splendid in 
that scream being able to disquiet the night, and in ai 
elation of woe she screamed again. 

" Do you know what you're doing ? " he demanded. 

She found herself asking Guy if she were screaming, and 
when she knew that at last she could hurt him, she screamed 
mc-re loudly. 

" You used to laugh at me when I said I might go mad," 
she cried. " Now do you like it ? Do you like it ? " 

" Pauline, I beg you to keep quiet. Pauline, think of 
your people. Will you promise to keep quiet, if I take you 
out of this thorn-bush ? " 

He began to laugh not very mirthfully, and that he could 
laugh infuriated her so much that she was silent with rage, 
while Guy disentangled the canoe from the thorn-bush 
and more swiftly than before urged it toward home. 

When they reached the grassy bank that divided the 
Abbey stream from the mill-pool, she would not get out 
of the canoe to walk to the other side. 

" I cannot cross that pool," she said. " Guy, don't ask 
me to. I've been afraid of it always. If we cross it to-night, 
I shall drown myself." 

He tried to argue with her. He pleaded with her, he 
railed at her and finally he laughed at her, until she got 
out and watched him launch the canoe on the farther side 
and beckon through the tremulous sheen to her. Wildly 
she ran down the steep bank and flung herself into the 
water. 

" Where am I ? Guy, where am I ? " 

" Well, at present you're lying on the grass, but where 
you've been or where I've been this last five minutes. . . . 
Pauline, are you yourself again ? " 

" Guy, my dearest, my dearest, I don't know why. . . ." 

She burst into tears. 



Another Summer 371 

" My dearest, how wet you are," she sobbed, stroking 
his drenched sleeve. 

" Well, naturally," he said with a short laugh. " Look 
here, it was all my fault for bringing you out, so don't get 
into a state of mind about yourself, but you can't go back 
in the canoe. My nerves are still too shaky. I can lift you 
over the wall behind the mill, and we must go back to the 
Rectory across the street. Come, my Pauline, you're wet, 
you know. Oh, my own, my sweet, if I could only uncount 
the hours.* 

Pauline would never have reached home but for Guy's 
determination. It was he who guided her past the dark 
entries, past the crafty windows of Rectory Lane, past 
the menacing belfry, past the trees of the Rectory drive. 
By the front door he asked her if she dared go upstairs 
alone. 

" I will wait on the lawn until I see your candle alight," 
he promised. 

She kissed him tragically and crept in. Her room was 
undisturbed, but in the looking-glass she saw a dripping 
ghost, and when she held her candle to the window, another 
ghost vanished slowly into the high grey wall. A cock 
crowed in the distance, and through the leaves of the 
wistaria there ran a flutter of waking sparrows. 



July 



WHEN Guy looked back next morning at what 
had happened on the river, he felt that the 
only thing to do was to leave Pauline for 
a while and give her time and opportunity to recover from 
the shock. He wondered if it would be wiser merely to 
write a note to announce his intention or if she had now 
reached a point at which even a letter would be a disastrous 
aggravation of her state of mind. He felt that he could 
not bear any scene that might approximate to that horrible 
scene last night, and yet to go away abruptly in such cir- 
cumstances seemed too callous. Supposing that he went 
across to the Rectory and that Pauline should have another 
seizure of hatred for him (there was no other word that 
could express what her attitude had been), how could their 
engagement possibly go on ? Mrs. Grey would be appalled 
by the emotional ravages it had made Pauline endure : 
she would not be justified, whatever Pauline's point of 
view, in allowing the engagement to last a day longer. It 
would be surely wiser to write a letter and with all the 
love he felt explain that he thought she would be happier 
not to see him for a short while. Yet such a course might 
provoke her to declare the whole miserable business, and 
the false deductions that might be made from her account 
were dreadful to contemplate. He blamed himself entirely 
for what had happened, and yet he could scarcely have 
foreseen such a violent change. Even now he could not 
say what exactly had begun the outburst, and indeed the 
only explanation of it was by a weight of emotion that had 
been accumulating for months. Of course he should never 

372 



Another Summer 373 

have persuaded her to come out on the river at night, but 
still that he had done so was only a technical offence against 
convention. It was she who had magnified her acquiescence 
beyond any importance he could have conceived. He must 
thank religion for that, he must thank that poisonous fellow 
in the confessional who had first started her upon this 
ruinous path of introspection and self-torment. But, what- 
ever the cause, it was the remedy that demanded his 
attention, and he twisted the situation round and round 
without being able to decide how to act. He realized how 
month by month his sense of responsibility for Pauline had 
been growing, yet now the problem of her happiness stared 
at him, brutally insoluble. What was it Margaret had once 
said about his being unlikely to squander Pauline for a 
young man's experience ? Good God, had not just that 
been the very thing he had nearly done ; and then with a 
shudder remembering last night, he wondered if he ought 
any longer to say ' nearly.' He must see her. Of course 
he must see her this morning. He must somehow heal the 
injury he had inflicted upon her youth. 

Pauline was very gentle when they met. She had no 
reproaches except for herself and the way she had frightened 
him. 

" Oh, my Pauline, can't you forget it ? " he begged. 
" Let me go away for a month or more. Let me go away 
till Margaret and Richard are going to be married." 

She acquiesced half-listlessly, and then seeming to feel 
that she might have been cold in her manner, she wished 
him a happy holiday from her moods and jealousy and 
exacting love. He tried to pierce the true significance of 
her attitude, because it held in its heart a premonition for 
him that everything between them had been destroyed 
last night, and that henceforth whatever he or she did or 
said they would meet in the future only as ghosts may 
meet in shadowy converse and meaningless communion. 



374 Guy and Pauline 

" You will be glad to see me when I come back ? " he 
asked. 

" Why, my dearest, of course I shall be glad." 

He kissed her good-bye, but her kiss was neither the kiss 
of lover nor of sister, but such a kiss as ghosts may use, 
seeking to perpetuate the mere form and outward semblance 
of life lost irrevocably. 

When Guy was driving "with Godbold along the Shipcot 
road, he had not made up his mind where he would go, 
and it was on the spur of the moment, as he stood in the 
booking-office, that he decided to go and see his father, to 
whom latterly he had written scarcely at all and of whom 
he suddenly thought with affection. 

" I've settled to give up Flashers Mead," Guy told him 
that night, when they were sitting in the library at Fox Hall. 

" And try and get on the staff of a paper," he added 
to his father's faint bow. " Or possibly I may go to Persia 
as Sir George Gascony's secretary. My friend Comeragh 
got me the offer in March, but Sir George was ill and did 
not start." 

" That sounds much more sensible than journalism," 
said Mr. Hazlewood. 

" Yes, perhaps it would be better," Guy agreed. " But 
then of course there is the question of leaving Pauline for 
two years." 

Yet even as he enunciated this so solemnly, he knew in 
his heart that he would be rather glad to postpone for two 
years all the vexations of love. 

His father shrugged his shoulders. 

" My poems are coming out this Autumn," Guy volun- 
teered. 

His father gave some answer of conventional approba- 
tion, and Guy without the least bitterness recognized that 
to his father the offer of the secretaryship had naturally 
presented itself as the more important occasion. 



Another Summer 375 

" If you want any help with your outfit . . ." 

" Oh, you mustn't count on Persia," interrupted Guy. 
" But I'll go up to town to-morrow and ask Comeragh when 
Sir George is going." 

Next day, however, when Guy was in the train, he began 
to consider his Persian plan a grave disloyalty to Pauline. 
He wondered how last night he had come to think of it 
again and fancied it might have been merely an instinct to 
gratify his father after their coolness. Of course he would 
not dream of going really, and yet it would have been jolly. 
Yes, it would certainly have been jolly, and he was rather 
relieved to find that Comeragh was out of town for a week, 
for his presence might have been a temptation. Michael 
Fane was not in London either, so Guy went round to 
Maurice Avery's studio in Grosvenor Road and in the 
pleasure of the company he found there the Persian idea 
grew less insistent. Maurice himself had just been invited 
to write a series of articles on the English ballet for a critical 
weekly journal called The Point of View. They went to a 
theatre together, and Guy as he listened to Maurice's 
jargon felt for a while quite rustic and was once or twice 
definitely taken in by it. Had he really been stagnating all 
this time at Wychford ? And then the old superiority 
which at Oxford he always felt over his friend reasserted 
itself. 

"You're still skating, Maurice," he drawled. "The 
superficial area of your brain must be unparalleled." 

" You frowsty old yokel ! " his friend exclaimed laughing. 

" I don't believe I shall get much out of breath, catching 
up with your advanced ideas," Guy retorted. " Anyway 
this Autumn I shall come to town for good." 

" And about time you did," said Maurice. " I say, 
mind you send your poems to The Point of View, and 
I'll give you a smashing fine notice the week after 
publication." 



376 Guy and Pauline 



I 
I 



Guy asked when Michael was coming back. 

" He's made a glorious mess of things, hasn't he ? " said 
Maurice. 

" Oh, I don't know. Not necessarily." 

" Well, I admit he found her out in time. But fancy 
wanting to marry a girl like that. I told him what she was, 
and he merely got furious with me. But he's an extra- 
ordinary chap altogether. By the way when are you going 
to get married ? " 

" When I can afford it," said Guy. 

" The question is whether an artist can ever afford to get 
married." 

" What rot you talk." 

" Wiser men than I have come to that conclusion," said 
Maurice. " Of course I haven't met your lady-love ; but 
it does seem to me that your present mode of life is bound 
to be sterile of impressions." 

" I don't go about self-consciously obtaining impressions," 
said Guy a little angrily. " I would as soon search for local 
colour. Personally I very much doubt if any impressions 
after eighteen or nineteen help the artist. As it seems to 
me, all experience after that age is merely valuable for 
maturing and putting into proportion the more vital 
experiences of childhood. And I'm not at all sure that 
there isn't in every artist a capacity for development which 
proceeds quite independently of externals. I speculate 
sometimes as to what would be the result upon a really 
creative temperament of being wrecked at twenty-two on a 
desert island. I say twenty-two, because I do count as 
valuable the academic influence that only begins to be 
effective after eighteen." 

" And what is your notion about this literary Crusoe ? " 
asked Maurice. 

" Well, I fancy that his work would not suffer at all, that 
it would ripen, just as certain fruit ripens independently of 



Another Summer 377 

sun, that he would display in fact quite normally the 
characteristic growth of the artist." 

" But where would he obtain his reaction ? " Maurice 
asked. 

" From himself. If that isn't possible for some people I 
don't see how you're going to make a distinction between 
literature and journalism." 

" Some journalism is literature." 

" Only very bad journalism," Guy argued. " The 
journalistic mind experiences a quick reaction, the creative 
writer a very slow one. The journalist is affected by ex- 
tremes : and he is continually aware of the impression they 
are making at the moment : contrariwise the creative artist 
is always unaware of the impression at the moment it is 
made ; he feels it from within first and it develops according 
to his own characteristics. Let me give you an example. 
The journalist is like a man who, seeing a mosquito in the 
act of biting him, claps his hand down and kills it. The 
creative artist isn't aware of having been bitten until he 
sees the swelling . . . big or small according to his constitu- 
tion. It is his business to cure the swelling, not to bother 
about the insect." 

" Your theories may be all right for great creative 
artists," said Maurice. " And I suppose you're willing to 
take the risk of stagnation ? " 

" I'm not a great creative artist," said Guy quickly. " At 
the same time I'm damned if I'm a journalist. No, the 
effect of Flashers Mead on me has been to make me long 
to be a man of action. So far it has been stimulating, and 
without external help I've been able to reach the conclusion 
that my poems were never worth writing. ... I wrote 
because I wanted to : I don't believe I ever had to." 

" Then what are you going to do now ? " asked 
Maurice. 

" I'm probably going to work in London at journalism." 



378 Guy and Pauline 






" Then, great Scott, why all this preliminary tirade 
against it ? " 

" Because I don't want to bluff myself into thinking that 
I'm going to do anything but be a strictly professional 
writer," said Guy. " Or else perhaps because I don't really 
want to come and live in London at all, but go to Persia. 
Dash it all, for the first time in my life, Maurice, I don't 
know what I do want, and it's a very humiliating state of 
affairs for me." 

When Guy left the studio that evening, he came away 
with that pleasant warming of the cockles of the brain that 
empirical conversation always gave. It was really very 
pleasant to be chattering away about aesthetic theories, to 
be meeting new people and to be infused with this sense of 
being joined up to the motive force of a city's life. At his 
lodgings in Vincent Square a letter from Pauline awaited 
his return, and with a shock he realized half way through 
its perusal that he was reading it listlessly. He turned back 
and tried to bring to its contents that old feverish absorp- 
tion in magic pages, but something was wanting whether in 
the letter or whether in himself he did not know. He came 
to the point of asking himself if he loved her still as much, 
and almost with horror at the question vowed he loved her 
more than ever and that of all things on earth he only 
longed for their marriage. Yet in bed that night he thought 
more of his argument in the studio than about Pauline, 
and when he did think about her it was with a drowsy 
sense of relief. Vincent Square under the bland city moon 
seemed very peaceful, and in retrospect Wychford a place 
of endless storms. 

Next morning when Guy sat down to answer Pauline's 
letter he found himself writing with mechanical fluency 
without really thinking of her at all. In fact for the moment 
she represented something that disturbed the Summer 
calm in London, and he consciously did not want to think 



Another Summer 379 

about her until all this late troublous time had lost its 
actuality and he could be sure of returning to the Pauline 
of their love's earlier days. 

These shuttlecock letters were tossed backward and for- 
ward between Wychford and London throughout the rest 
of June and most of July, and sometimes Guy thought 
they were as unreal as his own poetry. He spent his time 
in looking up old friends, in second-hand book shops, in 
the galleries of theatres. He did not see Michael Fane, 
who wrote to him from Rome before Guy knew he had 
gone there. Comeragh however he saw pretty often, and 
he enjoyed talking about politics nearly as much as about 
art. He met Sir George Gascony, and Comeragh assured 
him afterward that when Sir George went out to Persia 
in August or September he could if he liked go with him. 
Guy put the notion at the back of his mind whence he 
occasionally took it out and played with it. In the end, 
however, when the definite offer came he refused it. This 
happened at the end of his visit to London when his money 
was running out and when he had to be going back to 
Wychford to live somehow on credit, until the Michaelmas 
quarter replenished his overdrawn account. Before he 
left town he paid a visit to Mr. Worrall and told him that 
he wanted his poems to appear anonymously. In fact if 
it were not for hurting the Rector's feelings he would have 
stoppedtheir publication altogether. 

At the end of a hot and dusty July and about a week 
before the Lammas wedding of Margaret and Richard, 
Guy came back to Plashers Mead. The immediate effect 
of seeing again the place which was now associated in his 
mind with interminable difficulties was to make him 
resolute to clarify the situation once and for all, to clarify 
it so completely that there could never again be a repetition 
of that night in June. His absence had been in the strictest 
sense an interlude, and all the letters which marked to each 



380 Guy and Pauline 

the existence of the other had been but conventional forms 
of love and comfortable postponements of reality. When he 
met Pauline, Guy felt that he met her to all intents directly 
after that dreadful night, with only this difference that 
owing to the time they had had for repose he could now 
say things that six weeks ago he could not have said. He 
had arrived at Wychford for lunch, and as a matter of 
course they were to be together that afternoon. Ordinarily 
on such a piping July day he would have proposed the river 
for their converse, and it was a sign of how near at hand he 
felt their last time on the river that he proposed a walk instead. 

Guy was aware of wanting to take Pauline to some place 
that was neither hallowed nor cursed by past hours, and 
avoiding familiar ways, they reached a barren cup-shaped 
field shut off from the road by a spinney of firs that offered 
such a dry and draughty shade as made the field even in 
the hot sun of afternoon more tolerable. They sat down 
on the sour stony land among the ragwort and teazles and 
feverfew. Summer had burnt up this abandoned pasturage, 
and while they sat in silence Guy rattled from the rank 
umbels of fools-parsley and hemlock the innumerable seeds 
that would only profit the rankness of another year. 

" Well ? " he said at last. 

Pauline looked at him questioningly, and he felt impatient 
to be sitting here on this sour stony land and wondered 
how for merely this he could have refused that offer of 
Persian adventure. Not until now had he realized how 
much he had been resenting the performance of a duty. 

" You've hardly told me anything about your time in 
London," said Pauline. 

He looked at her sharply in case this might be a prelude 
to jealous interrogation. 

" There's nothing much to tell. I settled that my poems 
should appear anonymously. I'm afraid their publication 
may otherwise do me more harm than good." 






Another Summer 381 

" All your poems ? " she asked wistfully. 

He nodded impelled by a strong desire for absolute 
honesty, though he would have liked to except the poems 
about her, knowing how much she must be wounded to 
hear even them called worthless. 

" Then I've been no good to you at all ? " 

" Of course you have. Because these poems are no good, 
it doesn't follow that what I write next won't be good. 
And yet I'm uncertain whether I ought to go on merely 
writing. I'm beginning to wonder if I oughtn't to have 
gone out to Persia with Gascony. I refused the job because 
I thought it would upset you. And so, dearest Pauline, 
when next you feel jealous, do remember that. Do remem- 
ber that it is always you who come first. Don't think I'm 
regretful about Persia. I'm only wondering on your account 
if I ought to have gone. It would have made our marriage 
in three years a certainty, but still I hope by journalism to 
make it certain in one year. Are you glad, my Pauline ? " 

" Yes, of course I'm glad," she answered without fervour. 

" And you won't be jealous of my friends ? Because it's 
impossible to be in London without friends you know." 

" I told you I should never be enough." 

Guy tried not to be irritated by this. 

" If you would only be reasonable ! I realize now that 
for me at my age it's foolish to withdraw from my con- 
temporaries. I shall stagnate. These two years have not 
been wasted. . . ." 

" Yes, they have," she interrupted, " if your poems are 
not worth your name." 

" Dearest, these two years may well be the foundation on 
which I build all the rest of my life." 

" May they ? " 

" Yes, of course. But a desire for the stimulus of other 
people isn't the only reason for leaving Plashers Mead. I 
can't afford it here. My debts are really getting impossible 









382 Guy and Pauline 

to manage, and unless I can show my father that I'm ready 
to do anything to be a writer, as I can't go out to Persia, 
well . . . frankly I don't know what will happen. I gave 
Burrows notice at Midsummer." 

" You never told me," said Pauline. 

" Well, no, I was afraid you'd be upset and I wanted 
you to have this quiet time when I was away. . . ." 

" You don't trust me any more," she said. 

" Oh, yes, I do, but I thought it would worry you. I 
know my money affairs do worry you. But now I shall be 
all right. I'll come down here often, you know, and, oh, 
really, dearest girl, it is better that I should be in London. 
So don't be jealous, will you, and don't torment yourself 
about my debts, will you, and don't think that you are 
anything but everything to me." 

" I expect you'll enjoy being in London," she said slowly 
shredding the flowers from a spray of wild mignonette. 

" I hope I shall be so busy that I won't have time to regret 
Wychford," said Guy. 

He had by now broken off all the rank flowers in reach, 
and the sour stony ground was littered with seeds and 
pungent heads of bloom and ragged stalks. 

" You'll never regret Wychford," she said. " Never. 
Because I've spoilt it for you, my darling." 

She touched his hand gently and drew close to him, but 
only timidly ; and as she made the movement a flight of 
goldfinches lighted upon the swaying thistle-down in the 
hollow of the waste land. 

" Pauline ! Pauline ! " he cried and would have kissed 
her passionately, but she checked him : 

" No, no, I just want to lean my head upon your 
shoulder for a little while." 

Above her murmur he heard the rustle of the gold- 
finches' song in parting cadences upon the air, rising and 
falling : and looking down at Pauline in the sunlight, he 
felt that she was a wounded bird he should be cherishing. 



August 



THE wedding of Richard and Margaret dreamed of 
for so long strung Pauline to a pitch of excitement 
that made her seem never more positively herself. 
She was conscious as she gazed in the mirror on that Lammas 
morning that the tired look at the back of her eyes had 
gone and that in her muslin dress sown with rosebuds she 
appeared exactly as she ought to have appeared in any pre- 
figuration of herself in bridesmaid's attire. Feeling as she 
did in a way the principal architect of Richard and Mar- 
garet's happiness, she was determined at whatever cost of 
dejection afterward to bring to the completion of her 
design all the enthusiasm she had brought to its conception. 

" Do you like me as a bridesmaid ? " she asked Guy. 

And he with obviously eager welcome of the old Pauline 
could not find enough words to say how much he liked her. 

" Richard of course is wearing a tail-coat," she murmured. 

" I shan't," he whispered, " when we are married. I 
shall wear tweeds, and you shall wear your white frieze 
coat . . . the one in which I first saw you. How little you've 
changed in these two years ! " 

" Have I ? I think I've changed such a lot. Oh, Guy, 
such a tremendous lot." 

He shook his head. 

" My rose, if all roses could stay like you, what a world 
of roses it v\ould be." 

The wedding happened as perfectly as Pauline had 
imagined it would. Margaret looked most beautiful with her 
slim white satin gown and her weight of dusky hair, while 

383 



384 Guy and Pauline 



Richard marched about stiff and awkward, yet so radiant 
that almost more than anyone it was he who inspired the 
ceremony with hymeneal triumph and carried it beyond 
the soilure of unmeaning tears, he and Pauline whose laughter 
was the expression of the joyous air, since Margaret was too 
deeply occupied with herself to cast a single questioning 
look. 

In the evening when the diminished family sat in the 
drawing-room without going upstairs to music as a matter 
of course, Monica announced abruptly that at the end of 
the month she was going to be a novice in one of the large 
Anglican sisterhoods. It seemed as if she had most deliber- 
ately taken advantage of the general reaction in order that 
nobody might have the heart to combat her intention. 
Pauline and Mrs. Grey gasped, but they had no arguments 
to bring forward against the idea, and when Monica had 
outlined the plan in her most precise manner, they simply 
acquiesced in the decision as immutable. 

That night, as Pauline lay awake with the excitement of 
the wedding still throbbing in her brain, the future from 
every side began to assail her fancy. It seemed to her since 
Margaret's marriage and Monica's decision to be a nun 
that she must be more than ever convinced of her absolute 
necessity to Guy's existence. Unless she were assured of 
this she had no right to leave her father and mother. No 
doubt at least a year would pass before she and Guy could 
be married, but nevertheless her decision must be made at 
once. He had not seemed to depend upon her so much 
when he was in London : his letters had no longer con- 
tained those intimate touches that formerly assured her 
of the intertwining of their lives. But it was not merely a 
question of letters, this attitude of his that latterly was 
continually being more sharply defined. Somewhere their 
love had diverged, and whereas formerly she had always 
been able to comfort herself with the certainty that between 



iant 



Another Summer 385 

them love was exactly equal, now instead she could not 
help fancying that she loved him more than he loved her. 
It would of course be useless to ask him the question directly, 
for he would evade an answer by declaring it was prompted 
by unreasonable jealousy. Yet was her jealousy so very 
unreasonable, and if it were unreasonable was not that 
another reason against their marriage ? 

Pauline tried to search in the past of their love for the 
occasion of the divergence. It must be her own fault. It 
was she who had often behaved foolishly and impetuously, 
who had always supposed that her mother and sisters knew 
nothing about love, who had been to Guy all through their 
engagement utterly useless. It was she who had stopped 
his becoming a schoolmaster to help his father, it was she 
who had discouraged him from accepting that post in 
Persia. As Pauline looked back upon these two years she 
saw herself at every cross-road in Guy's career standing to 
persuade him toward the wrong direction. 

Then, too, recurred the dreadful problem of religion. 
It was she who had not resisted his inclination to laugh at 
what she knew was true. It was she who had most easily 
and most weakly surrendered, so that it was natural for 
him to treat her faith as something more conventional than 
real. 

The worries surged round her like waves in the darkness, 
and the one anchor of hope she still possessed was dragging 
ominously. Oh, if she could but be sure that she was essen- 
tial to his happiness, she would be able to conquer every- 
thing else. The loneliness of her father and mother, Guy's 
debts, the religious difficulties, the self-reproach for those 
moonlit nights upon the river, the jealousy of his friends, the 
fear of his poems' failure, his absence in London, all these 
could be overcome if only she were sure of being vital to 
Guy's felicity. 

A dull summer wind sent a stir through the dry leaves of 



386 Guy and Pauline 

the creepers, but the night grew hotter notwithstanding 
and sleep utterly refused to approach her room. 

Next day, when Guy came round to the Rectory, Pauline 
was so eager to hear the answer to her question that she 
would take no account of the jaded spirit of such a day as 
this after a wedding, and its natural influence on Guy's 
point of view. 

All the afternoon, however, they helped the Rector with 
his bulbs, and no opportunity of intimate conversation 
occurred until after tea when they were sitting in the 
nursery. The wind that last night had run with slow tremors 
through the leaves was now blowing gustily, and banks of 
clouds were gathering, great clouds that made the vegeta- 
tion seem all the more dry and stale, as they still deferred 
their drench of rain. 

" Guy, I don't want to annoy you, but is it really neces- 
sary that your poems should appear without your name ? " 

" Absolutely," he said firmly. 

" You don't think any of them are good ? " 

" Oh, some are all right, but I don't believe in them as 
I used to believe in them." 

" Sometimes, my dearest, you frighten me with the 
sudden way in which you dispose of things . . . they were 
important to you once, weren't they ? " 

" Of course. But they have outlived their date. I must 
do better." 

She got up and went over to the window-seat, and when 
she spoke next she was looking at the wicket in the high 
grey wall. 

" Guy, could I outlive my date ? " 

" Oh, dearest Pauline, I do beg you not to start problems 
this afternoon. Of course not." 

" Are you sure ? Are you sure that when you are in 
London you won't find other girls more interesting than I 
am?" 



Another Summer 387 

" Even if temporarily I were interested in another girl, 
you may be quite sure that she would always be second to 



you." 



" But you might be interested ? " Pauline asked breath- 
lessly. 

" I must be free if I'm going to be an artist." 

" Free ? " she echoed slowly. 

The cuckoo in the passage struck seven, and Mrs. Grey 
came into the nursery to invite Guy to stay to dinner. All 
through the meal Pauline kept saying to herself * free,' 
' free,' ' free,' and afterward when her mother suggested 
a trio in the music-room, because they could no longer have 
quartets and because soon they would not even have trios, 
Pauline played upon her violin nothing but that word 
( free,' ' free,' ' free.' In the hall when she kissed Guy 
good-night, she had an impulse to cling to him and pour 
out all her woes ; but, remembering how often lately he 
had been the victim of her overwrought nerves, she let him 
go without an effort. For a little while she held the door 
ajar so that a thin shaft of lamplight showed his tall shape 
walking quickly away under the trees. Why was he walking 
so quickly away from her ? Oh, it was raining fast, and she 
shut the door. Upstairs in her room she wrote to him : 

Guy, you must forgive me, but I cannot bear the strain of 
this long engagement any more. I will go away with Miss 
Verney somewhere to-morrow so that you needn't hurry away 
from Flashers Mead before you intended. I meant to write 
you a long letter full of everything, but there isn't any more 

Pauline. 

Her mother found her sobbing over her desk that was 
full of childish things, and asked what was the matter. 

" I've broken off my engagement," and wearily she told 
her some of the reasons, but never any reason that might 



3 88 



Guy and Pauline 



have seemed to cast the least blame on him. Next morning 
very early came a note for her mother from Guy in which 
he said he was leaving Flashers Mead in a couple of hours 
and begged that she would not let Pauline be the one to 
go away. 






EPIGRAPH 



Guy 



GUY could not make the effort to fight the doom 
upon their love declared by Pauline in her letter. 
He felt that if he did not acquiesce he would go 
mad : a deadness struck at him that he fancied was a won- 
derful sense of relief, and hurriedly packing a few things 
he went in pursuit of his friend Comeragh in case it might 
not even now be too late to go to Persia. However, though 
he did not manage to be in time for Sir George Gascony, 
his friend secured him a job on some committee that was 
being organized in Macedonia by enthusiastic Liberals. 
His previous experience there was recommendation enough, 
and after he had seen his father, acquired his outfit and 
settled up everything at Plashers Mead by means of Maurice 
Avery, early in September he set out Eastward. 

In Rome Guy picked up Michael Fane who was on the 
point of starting for the Benedictine monastery at Cava. 
Having a few days to spare before he went on to Brindisi, 
he agreed to spend the time with Michael tramping in the 
sun along the Parthenopean shore. 

" I can't understand what consolation you expect to find 
by shutting yourself up with a lot of frowsty monks," said 
Guy fretfully. 

" Nor can I understand when just at the moment you 
have been dealt the blow that should at last determine if 
you are to be an artist," retorted Michael, " I can't under- 
stand why you choose that exact moment to go and be 
futile in Macedonia." 

" Do you think I would be an artist now, even if I 
could ? " asked Guy fiercely. " How I hate such a point 



392 Guy and Pauline 

of view. No, no, I have made myself miserable and I have 
made someone else miserable because I thought I wanted 
to be an artist. But never, never, shall that old jejune 
ambition be gratified now." 

" You'll never try to write anything more ? " 

" Nothing," said Guy. 

" Then what has all this been for ? " 

" Perhaps to come back in a year, and . . . listen 

O ragged robins, you will bloom each year, 
But we shall never 'pluck you after rain : 
For aye, ragged hearts, you beat alone, 
And never more shall you lie joined, again. 

Do you think I want to come back in a year and still be able 
to versify my grief like that ? I look forward to something 
better than minor poetry." 

" You mean you still hope . . ." his friend began. 

" I daren't even hope yet . . . but all my life I'll do 
penance for having said that an artist must be free." 

They had reached the inn at Amalfi, where letters might 
be waiting for them. 

Guy read aloud one which had arrived from Maurice 
Avery. 

422 GROSVENOR ROAD, 

WESTMINSTER. 
My dear Guy, 

I settled up everything for you at Flashers Mead. 
Rather a jolly place. I nearly took it on myself. Tm getting 
quite used to settling up other people's affairs since you 
and Michael have made me your executor. Good luck to you 
in Macedonia. 

Last night I went to the Orient Ballet and met a perfectly 
delightful girl. If there is such a thing as love at first sight, 
I am in love. Jenny Pearl she is called. Forgive this ap- 



Epigraph 393 

parently casual enthusiasm, but you two cynics will be able to 
tear me to pieces to your satisfaction. I offer my heart for your 
bitter mirth to embalm. 

Tours ever 

M.A. 

Tour dog is at Godalming with my people. My sisters talk 
of nothing else. 

" Maurice rises like a phoenix from our ashes," said Guy 
grimly. 

" He was always irrepressible," Michael agreed. 

" And still you haven't answered my question about your 
monkery," Guy persisted. 

" You want action. I want contemplation. But don't 
think that I'm going to take final vows to-morrow." 

" And do you really believe in the Christian religion ? " 
Guy asked incredulously. 

" Yes, I really do." 

" What an extraordinary thing ! " 

Next day they parted, Michael going to the Benedictine 
house at Cava, Guy pressing on toward Salerno. With every 
breath of the rosemary, with every sough of the Aleppo 
pines, with every murmur of the blue Tyrrhenian winking 
far below, more and more sharply did he realize that what 
he had thought at the time was wonderful relief had been 
more truly despair. Yet in a happier September might he 
not hope to come back this way, setting his face toward 
England ? 

One more turn of the head in the gathering gloom 
To watch her figure in the lighted door : 

One more wish that I never should turn again, 
But watch her standing there for evermore. 



Pauline 

PAULINE went away with Monica to spend the rest 
of August and the beginning of September in 
the depths of the country, where however for 
all the stillness of the ripe season she did not find very great 
peace. In every lane, in every wood, below the brow of 
every hill she was always half -expecting to meet Guy. It 
was not until Monica was going to her sisterhood and that 
she came back to see TO LET staring from the windows of 
Flashers Mead that Pauline was able at last to realize what 
she had irrevocably done. 

On the day after her return Pauline went to see Miss 
Verney. To her she explained that the engagement was at 
an end. 

" I heard something about it," said Miss Verney. " And 
feeling sure that it was doubtless on account of money, I 
must very impertinently beg you to accept this." 

Pauline looked at the packet the old maid had thrust into 
her hand. 

" Those are deeds," said Miss Verney importantly. " I 
have felt for some time past that I do not really need all 
my money. My income, you know, is very nearly ^250 a 
year. 100 would be ample, and therefore I hope you will 
accept the surplus." 

" My darling Miss Verney," said Pauline, " it could not 
be." 

But the old maid was with very great difficulty persuaded 
of the impossibility. 

" And you mean to say," she gasped, " that you are never 
going to see each other again ? " 



Epigraph 395 

" Oh, sometimes," Pauline whispered, " sometimes I 
wonder if it could really happen that Guy and I should 
never meet again. Please don't let's talk about it. I shall 
come and see you often, but you mustn't ever talk about 
Guy and me, will you ? " 

" I shall put this money aside," Miss Verney announced, 
" because I am most anxious to prove that 100 a year is 
ample for me. Extravagance has always been my tempta- 
tion ! 

Later in the afternoon Pauline left her friend and went 
down Wychford High Street toward home. There were 
great wine-dark dahlias in the gardens, and the bell was 
sounding for Evensong. She knelt behind a pillar, all of the 
congregation. How through this winter that was coming she 
would love her father and mother. And if Guy ever came 
back ... if Guy ever came back. . . . 

She heard her father's voice dying away with the close of 
the Office ; and presently they walked about the golden 
churchyard, arm-in-arm. 

" I shouldn't be surprized to see Sternbergia Lutea this 
year," he observed. " We have had a lot of sun." 

" Have we ? " Pauline sighed. 

" Oh, yes, a great deal of sun." 

Her father of course would never speak of that broken 
engagement, and already she had made her mother promise 
never to speak of it again. Deep to her inmost heart only 
these familiar vales and streams and green meadows would 
speak of it for the rest of her life. 

THE END 



Capri 

December, 1914 April^ 1915 



PRINTED IN GREAT BRITAIN BY 

WM. BRENDON AND SON, LTD. 

PLYMOUTH 



SOME PRESS OPINIONS OF 

SINISTER STREET 

By COMPTON MACKENZIE 



PUNCH; 

" I shall not easily forget the delightful revelation cf a new power 
that was given me by Mr. Compton Mackenzie's * Carnival.' * Sinister 
Street ' confirms and heightens my estimate of its author. ... As a 
study of the education of character it is already a masterpiece. . . . 
It is not my habit lightly to prophesy fame ; but after these two 
books I am prepared to wager that Mr. Mackenzie's future is bound 
up with what is most considerable in English fiction." 

EVENING STANDARD: 

"Not without complacency we remember that, in noticing 'Carnival,' 
we suggested that Mr. Mackenzie's next novel would mark a critical 
stage in his career. We are complacent because the author has 
largely fulfilled the promise of that arresting novel. He has passed 
the critical stage, and whatever happens now nothing can deprive him 
of the honour of being the author of * Sinister Street.' " 

MORNING POST: 

" 'Sinister Street ' has indeed interested us profoundly, as the intimate 
study of the infancy and boyhood of a singularly attractive lad. . . . 
Its picture of West Kensington life, and its attempt to describe the 
atmosphere of the Public School which dominates the social life of 
West Kensington are really remarkable." 

TIMES: 

"We do not wish it any shorter, for it is almost wholly delightful 
in itself." 

STANDARD : 

"In his pages there is not one which even a reviewer could wish to 
skip. . . . The architecture of the book is superb." 

DAILT EXPRESS : 

" 'Sinister Street' is a fine novel, an achievement far removed from 
the average easy banality." 

MANCHESTER GUARDIAN: 

"As difficult a task as fiction could undertake ; but Mr. Mackenzie's 
tact and insight and comprehension have brought him through with 
brilliant success. . . . Something we would not willingly have missed." 



MARTIN SECKER, NUMBER FIVE JOHN STREET, ADELPHI 



SOME PRESS OPINIONS OF 

CARNIVAL ' 

By COMPTON MACKENZIE 

ATHENMUM : 

"Mr. Mackenzie's second novel amply fulfils the promise of his first. 
. . . Its first and great quality is originality. The originality of Mr. 
Mackenzie lies in his possession of an imagination and a vision of life 
that are as peculiarly his own as a voice or a laugh, and that reflect 
themselves in a style which is that of no other writer. . ; . A prose 
full of beauty." 

PUNCH : 

"After reading a couple of pages I settled myself in my chair for a 
happy evening, and thenceforward the fascination of the book held me 
like a kind of enchantment. I despair, though, of being able to con- 
vey any idea of it in a few lines of criticism. . . . As for the style, I 
will only add that it gave me the same blissful feeling of security that 
one has in listening to a great musician. ... In the meantime, having 
recorded my delight in it, I shall put * Carnival' upon the small and 
by no means crowded shelf that I reserve for * keeps.' " 

OUTLOOK: 

"In these days of muddled literary evaluations, it is a small thing to say 
of a novel that it is a great novel ; but this we should say without 
hesitation of * Carnival,' that not only is it marked out to be the read- 
ing success of its own season, but to be read afterwards as none but the 
best books are read." 

OBSERVER : 

"The heroic scale of Mr. Compton Mackenzie's conception and 
achievement sets a standard for him which one only applies to the 
* great' among novelists." 

ENGLISH REVIEW: 

"An exquisite sense of beauty with a hunger for beautiful words to 
express it." 

ILLUSTRATED LONDON NEWS: 

" The spirit of youth and the spirit of London." 

NEW YORK TIMES: 

"We hail Mr. Mackenzie as a man alive who raises all things to a 
spiritual plane." 

MR. C. K. SHORTER in the SPHERE: 

"* Carnival ' carried me from cover to cover on wings.** 

NEW AGE: 

" We are more than sick of it." 

MARTIN SECKER, NUMBER FIVE JOHN STREET, ADELPHI 



SOME PRESS OPINIONS OF 

THE PASSIONATE 
ELOPEMENT 

By COMPTQN MACKENZIE 

TIMES : 

"We arc grateful to him for wringing our hearts with the * tears and 
laughter of spent joys.' " 

SPECTATOR : 

"As an essay in literary bravura the book is quite remarkable." 

COUNTRT LIFE: 

"In the kindliness, the humour and the gentleness of the treatment, 
it comes as near to Thackeray as any man has come since Thackeray." 

DAILY CHRONICLE: 

"Thanks for a rare entertainment ! And, if the writing of your story 
pleased you as much as the reading of it has pleased us, congratulations 
too." 

GLOBE : 

"A little tenderness, a fragrant aroma of melancholy laid away in 
lavender, a hint of cynicism, an airy philosophy and so a wholly 
piquant, subtly aromatic dish, a rosy apple stuck with cloves." 

GLASGOW NEWS : 

"Fresh and faded, mocking yet passionate, compact of tinsel and gold 
is this little tragedy of a winter season in view of the pump room. . . . 
Through it all, the old tale has a dainty, fluttering, unusual, and very 
real beauty. 5 ' 

ENGLISH REVIEW: 

"All his characters are real and warm with life. 'The Passionate 
Elopement ' should be read slowly, and followed from the smiles and 
extravagance of the opening chapters through many sounding and 
poetical passages, to the thrilling end of the Love Chase. The quiet 
irony of the close leaves one smiling, but with the wiser smile of 
Horace Ripple who meditates on the colours of life." 

WESTMINSTER GAZETTE: 

" Mr. Mackenzie's book is a novel of genre, and with infinite care and 
obvious love of detail has he set himself to paint a literary picture in 
the manner of Hogarth. He is no imitator, he owes no thanks to any 
predecessor in the fashioning of his book. . . . Mr. Mackenzie recre- 
ates (the atmosphere) so admirably that it is no exaggeration to say 
that, thanks to his brilliant scene-painting, we shall gain an even more 
vivid appreciation of the work of his great forerunners. Lightly and 
vividly does Mr. Mackenzie sketch in his characters . . . but they do 
not on that account lack personality. Each of them is definitely and 
faithfully drawn, with sensibility, sympathy, and humour." 

MARTIN SECKER, NUMBER FIVE JOHN STREET, ADELPHI 



SOME PRESS OPINIONS OF 

KENSINGTON RHYMES 

<By COMPTON MACKENZIE 



SATURDAY REVIEW: 

" These are particularly jolly rhymes, that any really good sort of 
a chap, say a fellow of about ten, would like. Mr. J. R. Monsell's 
pictures are exceptionally jolly too. . . . If we may judge by our- 
selves, not only the children, but the grown-ups of the family will 
be enchanted by this quite delightful and really first-rate book." 

DAILY MAIL: 

"Among the picture-books of the season, pride of place must go to 
Mr. Compton Mackenzie's 'Kensington Rhymes.' They are full 
of quiet humour and delicate insight into the child-mind." 

OBSERVER: 

"Far the best rhymes of the year are 'Kensington Rhymes,' by 
Compton Mackenzie, almost the best things of the kind since the 
Child's Garden of Verse.'" 

ATHENAEUM: 

" Will please children of all ages, and also contains much that will 
not be read without a sympathetic smile by grown-ups possessed of 
a sense of humour." 

TIMES: 

" The real gift of child poetry, sometimes almost with a Steven- 
sonian ring." 

OUTLOOK: 

"What Henley did for older Londoners, Mr. Compton Mackenzie 
and Mr. Monsell have done for the younger generation." 

STANDARD: 

" Our hearts go out first to Mr. Compton Mackenzie's ' Kensing- 
ton R.hymes.' " 

SUNDAY TIMES: 

"Full of whimsical observation and genuine insight, 'Kensington 
Rhymes' by Compton Mackenzie are certainly entertaining." 

EVENING STANDARD: 

"Something of the charm of Christina Rossetti's." 

VOTES FOR WOMEN: 

"They breathe the very conventional and stuffy air of Kensington. 
, . . We are bound to say that the London child we tried it on 
liked the book." 



MARTIN SECKER, NUMBER FIVE JOHN STREET, ADELPHI 



MARTIN SECKER 

HIS COMPLETE CATALOGUE MCMXV 



The Books in this list should be obtainable 
from all Booksellers and Libraries, and if 
any difficulty is experienced the Publisher 
will be glad to be informed of the fact. He 
mil also be glad if those interested in 
receiving from time to time Announcement 
Lists, Prospectuses, &c., of new and forth- 
coming books from Number Five John 
Street will send their names and addresses 
to him for this purpose. Any book in this 
list may be obtained on approval through the 
booksellers, or direct from the Publisher, on 
remitting him the published price, plus the 
postage. 



MARTIN SECKER 

Publisher 

Number Five John Street 

Adelphi London 

Telephone Gerrard 4779 
Telegraphic Address : 
Ps9phidian London 



PART ONE 

INDEX OF AUTHORS 

ABERCROMBIE, LASCELLES 

SPECULATIVE DIALOGUES. Wide Cr. 8^0. 5-r. net. 

THOMAS HARDY : A CRITICAL STUDY. Demy 8f0. 

7-f. 6d. net. 

THE EPIC (Ike Art and Craft of Letters}. F'cap 

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AFLALO, F. G. 

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REGILDING THE CRESCENT. Demy %vo. IQJ. 6d. net. 

BIRDS IN THE CALENDAR. Crown %vo. $s. 6d. net. 
ALLSHORN, LIONEL 

STUPOR MUNDI. Medium Octavo. i6s. net. 

APPERSON, G. L. 

THE SOCIAL HISTORY OF SMOKING. Post %vo. 

6s. net. 
ARMSTRONG, DONALD 

THE MARRIAGE OF QUIXOTE. Crown 8w. 6s. 

ARTZIBASHEF, MICHAEL 

SANINE. Preface by Gilbert Cannan. Crown %vo. 6s. 

BREAKING-POINT. Crown %vo. 6s. 

THE MILLIONAIRE. Intro, by the Author. Cr. %vo. 6s. 

TALES OF THE REVOLUTION. Crown %vo. 6s. 

BARRINGTON, MICHAEL 

GRAHAME OF CLAVERHOUSE. Imperial %vo. $os. 

net. Edition de Luxe 6$s. net. 
BENNETT, ARNOLD 

THOSE UNITED STATES. Post %vo. 2s. 6d. net. 

BLACK, CLEMENTINA 

THE LINLEYS OF BATH. Medium %vo. i6s. net. 

THE CUMBERLAND LETTERS. Med. Svo. \6s. net. 

3 



BOULGER, D. C. 

THE BATTLE OF THE BOYNE. Med. %vo. 2is. net. 
BOTTOME, PHYLLIS 

THE COMMON CHORD. Crown %vo. 6s. 

BROWN, IVOR 

YEARS OF PLENTY. Crown %vo. 6s. 

SECURITY. Crown 8vo. 6s. 

BURROW, C. KENNETT 

CARMINA VARIA. Fcap %vo. 2s. 6d. net. 

CALDERON, GEORGE (With St. John Hankin) 

THOMPSON : A Comedy. Sq. Cr. %vo. 2s. net. 
CANNAN, GILBERT 

ROUND THE CORNER. Crown %vo. 6s. 

OLD MOLE. Crown %vo. 6s. 

YOUNG EARNEST. Crown %vo. 6s. 

SAMUEL BUTLER : A CRITICAL STUDY. Demy 8f o. 

js 6d. net. 

WINDMILLS : A Book of Fables. Cr. %vo. $s. net. 

SATIRE (The Art and Craft of Letters). Pcaf %vo. 

is. net. 
CHESTERTON, G. K. 

MAGIC : A Fantastic Comedy. Sq. Cr. %vo. 2s. net. 
CLAYTON, JOSEPH 

THE UN DERM AN. Crown %vo. 6s. 

LEADERS OF THE PEOPLE. Demy %vo. 12s. 6d. net. 

ROBERT KETT. Demy %vo. 8s. 6d. ntt. 

COKE, DESMOND 

THE ART OF SILHOUETTE. Demy 8vo. los. 6d. net. 
CRAVEN, A. SCOTT 

. THE FOOL'S TRAGEDY. Crown $vo. 6s. 

DAWSON, WARRINGTON 

THE TRUE DIMENSION Crown 8vo. 6s. 

DE SELINCOURT, BASIL 

WALT WHITMAN : A CRITICAL STUDY. Demy %vo. 

7-r. 6d. net. 

RHYME ('The Art and Craft of Letters). F'cap %vo. 

is. net. 






DOUGLAS, LORD ALFRED Martin 

THE WILDE MYTH. Demy %vo. I2s. 6d. rut. Seeker's 

DOUGLAS, NORMAN Catalog* 

FOUNTAINS IK THE SAND. Wide Demy %vo. js. 6d. net. 
OLD CALABRIA. Demy %vo. i$s. net. 

DRAYCOTT, G. M. 

MAHOMET : FOUNDER OF ISLAM. Demy %vo. 
izs. 6d. net. 

DRINKWATER, JOHN 

WILLIAM MORRIS : A CRITICAL STUDY. Demy %vo. 

*js. 6d. net. 

D. G. ROSSETTI : A CRITICAL STUDY. Demy %vo. 

*js. 6d. net. 

THE LYRIC ('The Art and Craft of Letters). Fcap 

%vo. is. net. 

FALLS, CYRIL 

RUDYARD KIPLING: A CRITICAL STUDY.TZ)my 
800. yj. 6d. net. 

FEA, ALLAN 

OLD ENGLISH HOUSES. Demy 8vo. los. 6d. net. 
NOOKS AND CORNERS OF OLD ENGLAND. 5/. net. 
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PART TWO : CLASSIFIED 

INDEX OF TITLES Catalogue 

General Literature 

ART OF BALLET, THE. By Mark E. Perugini. 
ART OF SILHOUETTE, THE, By Desmond Coke. 
BATTLE OF THE BOTNE, THE. By D. C. Boulger. 
BEHIND THE RANGES. By F. G. Aflalo. 
BIRDS IN THE CALENDAR. By F. G. Aflalo. 
CAMILLE DESMOULINS. By Violet Methley. 
CARRIAGES AND COACHES. By Ralph Straus. 
CHRISTMAS CARD, A. By Filson Young. 
CUMBERLAND LETTERS, THE. By Clementina Black. 
DRAMATIC PORTRAITS. By P. P. Howe. 
FEMININE INFLUENCE ON THE POETS. By E. Thomas. 
GRAHAME OF CLAVERHOUSE. By Muhael Barrington. 
HIEROGLYPHICS. By Arthur Machen. 
HISTORY OF THE HARLEQUINADE, THE. By M. Sand. 
LEADERS OF THE PEOPLE. By Joseph Clayton. 
LETTERS FROM GREECE. By John Mavrogordato. 
LINLEYS OF BATH, THE. By Clementina Black. 
MAHOMET. By G. M. Draycott. 
MARY WOLLSTONECRAFT. By G. R. Stirling Taylor. 
NEW LEAVES. By Filson Young. 
PEOPLE AND QUESTIONS. By G. S. Street. 
PERSONALITY IN LITERATURE. By R. A. Scott-James. 
PSYCHOLOGY OP THE GREAT WAR, By Stirling Taylor. 
REAL CAPTAIN CLEVELAND, THE. By Allan Fea. 
REGILDING THE CRESCENT. By F. G. Aflalo. 

ii 



ROBERT KETT. By Joseph Clayton. 

SOCIAL HISTORY OP SMOKING, THE. By G. L. Epperson. 

SOME ECCENTRICS AND A WOMAN. By Lewis Melville. 

SPECULATIVE DIALOGUES. By Lascelles Abercrombie. 

STUPOR MUNDI. By Lionel Allshorn. 

TENTH MUIE, THE. By Edward Thomas. 

THOSE UNITED STATES. By Arnold Bennett. 

VIB DE BOHEME. By Orlo Williams. 

WILDE MYTH, THE. By Lord Alfred Douglas. 

WINDMILLS. By Gilbert Cannan. 

Verse 

COLLECTED POEMS OF J. E. FLECKER. 

COLLECTED POEMS OF F. M. HUEFFER. 

CA&MINA VARIA. By C. Kennett Burrow. 

CORONAL, A. A New Anthology. By L. M. Lamont. 

GOLDEN JOURNEY TO SAMARKAND, THE. By J. E. 

Flecker. 
KENSINGTON RHYMES. By Compton Mackenzie. 

Drama 

DRAMATIC WORKS OF ST. JOHN HANKIN. 3 vols. 

DRAMATIC WORKS OF GERHART HAUPTMANN. 6 vols. 
CASSANDRA IN TROY. By John Mavrogordato. 
MAGIC. By G. K. Chesterton. 
MODERN DRAMA, THE. By L. Lewisohn. 
PEBR GYNT. Translated by R. Ellis Roberts. 
REPERTORY THEATRE, THH. By P. P. Howe. 
THOMPSON. By St. John Hankin and G. Calderon. 
12 



Travel 

AUSTRALASIAN WANDER YEAR, AN. By H. M. Vaughan 
EGYPTIAN ^ESTHETICS. By Rene Francis. 
FOUNTAINS IN THE SAND. By Norman Douglas. 
NOOKS AND CORNERS OF OLD ENGLAND. By Allan Fea. 
OLD CALABRIA. By Norman Douglas. 
OLD ENGLISH HOUSES. By Allan Fea. 
PERFUMES OF ARABY. By Harold Jacob. 



Martin Seeker s Series of 
Critical Studies 

ROBERT BRIDGES. By F. E. Brett Young. 
SAMUEL BUTLER. By Gilbert Cannan. 
GEORGE GISSING. By Frank Swinnerton. 
THOMAS HARDY. By Lascelles Abercrombie. 
HENRIK IBSEN. By R. Ellis Roberts. 
HENRY JAMES. By FordMadox Hueffer. 
MAURICE MAETERLINCK. By Una Taylor. 
GEORGE MEREDITH. By Orlo Williams. 
WILLIAM MORRIS. By John Drinkwater. 
WALTER PATER. By Edward Thomas. 
D. G. ROSSETTI. By John Drinkwater. 
BERNARD SHAW. By P. P. Howe. 
R. L. STEVENSON, By Frank Swinnerton. 
A. C. SWINBURNE. By Edward Thomas. 
J. M. SYNGE. By P. P. Howe. 
LEO TOLSTOI. By R. Ellis Roberts. 
WALT WHITMAN. By Basil de Selincourt. 
W. B. YEATS. By Forrest Reid. 

13 



The Art and Craft of Letters 

BALLAD,THE. By Frank Sidgzuick. 
COMEDY. By John Palmer. 
CRITICISM. By P. P. Howe. 
EPIC, THE. By Lascelles Abercrombie. 
ESSAY, THE. By Orlo Williams. 
HISTORY. By R. H. Gretton. 
LYRIC, THE. By John Drinkwater. 
PARODY. By Christopher Stone. 
PUNCTUATION. By Filson Young. 
SATIRE. By Gilbert Cannan. 
SHORT STORY, THE. By Barry Pain. 



Fiction 

ALTAR OF THE DEAD, THE. By Henry James. 

ASPERN PAPERS, THE. By Henry James. 

BANKRUPT, THE. By Horace HorsnelL 

BANNER OF THE BULL, THE. By Rafael Sabatini. 

BATTLES OF LIFE, By Austin Philip. 

BEAST IN THE JUNGLE, THE. By Henry James. 

BREAKING-POINT. By Michael Artzibashef. 

BURNT HOUSE, THE. By Christopher Stone. 

CARNIVAL. By Comfton Mackenzie. 

CASUALS OF THE SEA. By William McFee. 

COLLECTED TALES : Vol. I. By Barry Pain. 

COLLECTED TALES : Vol. II. By Barry Pain. 

COLUMBINE. By Viola Meynell. 

COMMON CHORD, THE. By Phyllis Bottome. 

14 



COXON FUND, THE. By Henry James. Martin 

DAISY MILLER. By Henry James. Seeker's 

DARK TOWER, THE. By E. Brett Young. 

DEATH OF THE LION, THE. By Henry James. 

DEBIT ACCOUNT, THE. By Oliver Onions. 

DEEP SEA. By F. Brett Toung. 

DUCHESS OF WREXE, THE. By Hugh Watyole. 

FIGURE IN THE CARPET, THE. By Henry James. 

FOOL'S TRAGEDY, THE. By A. Scott Craven. 

FORTITUDE. By Hugh Wai-pole. 

GLASSES. By Henry James. 

GOLIGHTLYS, THE. By Laurence North. 

GUY AND PAULINE. By Compton Mackenzie. 

IMPATIENT GRISELDA. By Laurence North. 

IMPERFECT BRANCH, THE. By Richard Lluellyn. 

IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE EVIDENCE. By O. Onions. 

IRON AGE, THE. By F. Brett Toung. 

L.S.D. By Bohun Lynch. 

LESSON OF THE MASTER, THE. By Henry James. 

LOT BARROW. By Viola Meynell. 

MARRIAGE OF QUIXOTE, THE. By Donald Armstrong. 

MAKING MONEY. By Owen Johnson. 

MELEAGER. By H. M. Faugh an. 

MILLIONAIRE, THE. By Michael Artzilashef. 

MODERN LOVERS. By Viola Meynell. 

NARCISSUS. By Viola Meynell. 

OLD MOLE. By Gilbert Cannan. 

OLD HOUSE, THE. By Feodor Sologub. 

ONE KIND AND ANOTHER. By Barry Pain. 

OUTWARD APPEARANCE, THE. By Stanley V. Makozver. 

PASSIONATE ELOPEMENT, THE. By Compton Mackenzie. 

PETER PARAGON. By John Palmer. 



PUPIL, THE. By Henry James. 

QUESTING BEAST, THE* By Ivy Low. 

RECORD OF A SILENT LIFE, THE. By Anna Preston. 

REVERBERATOR, THE. By Henry James. 

ROUND THE CORNER. By Gilbert Cannan. 

SALAMANDER, THE. By Owen Johnson. 

SANINE, By Michael Artzibashef. 

SEA HAWK, THE. By Rafael Sabatini. 

SECURITY. By Ivor Brown. 

SINISTER STREET. I. By Campion Mackenzie. 

SINISTER STREET. II. By Com-pton Mackenzie. 

STORY OF LOUIE, THE, By Oliver Onions. 

TALES OF THE REVOLUTION. By M. Artzibashef. 

TELLING THE TRUTH. By William Hewlett. 

TRUE DIMENSION, THE. By Warrington Dawson. 

TURN OF THE SCREW, THE. By Henry James. 

UNCLE'S ADVICE. By William Hewlett. 

UNDERGROWTH. By F. fcf? E. Brett Young. 

UNDERMAN, THE. By Joseph Clayton. 

UNOFFICIAL. By Bohun Lynch. 

WIDDERSHINS. By Oliver Onions. 

YEARS OF PLENTY* By Ivor Brown. 

YOUNG EARNEST. By Gilbert Cannan. 



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